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From Photograph taken in iSSj- 


Truman Marcellus Post, d.d. 

a Biograp^ 




Congregational &unoag=Scf)ool ano ^Publishing Soctctg 

Copyright, 1891, by 
Congregational Sunday-School and Publishing Society. 


My circle of exact knowledge seems shrinking as I descend the 
vale of years; but I feel more strongly than ever that my Father 
and God will be with me and bear me up through the mystery of 
the eternal future. — From letter of Dr. Post to Calvin Hurlburd, 
December 24, i8yg. 


It is believed that the life of Truman Marcellus Post will be of 
interest, not only to his circle of personal friends, but also to the 
general public. It had to do with events and crises of immense 
significance in the early history of the West, and later on with the 
great civil and military struggle for Missouri. And for such reasons 
it must possess a deep and growing interest to the student of history. 
This biography contains also autobiographic sketches and narratives, 
graphic and picturesque, sometimes intensely tragic, which, aside from 
any historic merit they may possess, cannot fail to attract and charm 
the reader. 

But, in large measure, the life of Dr. Post was withdrawn from the 
outside world, and was passed in the seclusion of his study, among 
his books and in labors of the pen. This part of his life furnishes 
little, if anything, in the way of incident for the chronicler. Neverthe- 
less it was in some respects the most significant phase of his history. 
For nearly fifty years it was very prolific intellectually in sermons and 

W lectures and addresses, and in contributions of various sorts to news- 

§ papers and periodicals. These writings were the bloom and the fruit- 
age of his mental manhood. Not only so, but they were the record 
of his own inner and subjective life, of its habitudes, its moral and 

^ intellectual traits, its achievements in learning, and its battles in the 

<•> field of opinion. 

And just here a very grave embarrassment has been encountered 

J in this memoir. The limits of the present volume would make the 


■ > 

insertion of all, or indeed of any considerable portion, of the literary 
works of Dr. Post simply out of the question. Many of them, as 
indeed some of the best of them, were so compact in thought and so 
teeming with imagery, that any synopsis doing justice to the author 
would be difficult and perhaps impossible. On the other hand, to 
ignore these literary products or to pass them with a mere statistical 
mention, would be, as already intimated, to eliminate from the memoir 
that part of it which was the noblest and most significant. 

There remained, therefore, no course but the middle one, of selecting 
from his various works sample or specimen utterances on the different 



subjects treated, and from those selected to cull out and present to the 
reader some of the leading thoughts and choice passages ; although in 
so doing it was painfully apparent that the benefit, oftentimes very 
great, of the context, and the symmetry and power of the article or 
address as a whole, would be lost to the reader. The task of choosing 
passages from the published works of Dr. Post for republication in 
this volume, while seemingly necessary to anything like completeness 
of the memoir, has therefore been a very delicate and necessarily a very 
unsatisfactory one. 

Moreover, these extracts, interspersed through the narrative, as they 
have been, according to their chronological order, are frequently dis- 
connected with any chain of events, and on disconnected topics, and 
are therefore sometimes an interruption rather than an aid to the easy 
flow of the story. But on the other hand it is believed that all the 
more readily will the reader be led, at odd intervals and as the mood 
is on him, to take up the volume and ponder over the " life thoughts " 
and glowing pictures that are presented in them. 

A fact to be emphasized in this connection is that the present volume 
leaves altogether unpublished many of the writings, and a number of 
the best writings, of Dr. Post. Some of them, such as the lecture upon 
the Age of Pericles and the lectures upon Ancient Commerce, could 
not be found. Others, such as several discourses on Congregationalism 
and on the Pilgrim Forefathers, and the Methods of Historical Study, 
etc., though equal in merit with addresses quoted from, have been 
omitted as kindred with them in theme, and to avoid any topical same- 
ness. And some of the most striking and impressive sermons of Dr. 
Post, such as " Think on these things 1 ' ; " Be sure your sin will find 
you out," and " The power of an endless life," were never transcribed 
in full, and are therefore not in a state for publication. 

It is doubtless also true that in another respect this sketch must 
prove an unsatisfying one. In the present day, and especially in the 
midst of a great city where events are following one upon another like 
ground swells of the ocean, the fame of men, however conspicuous 
they may be in public affairs, is soon swept away and almost forgotten ; 
to-day they are here; to-morrow a memory; shortly a mere tradition. 
And particularly is this true of a lifework whose results, as in the 
present instance, are accomplished so greatly along the line of silent 
causes and by the power of his own character in its impress upon the 
hearts and lives of others. Of such a history no record can be saved 
for the future in any earthly chronicle. 

There was also something in the wondrous personalty of Dr. Post 


felt by all who knew him, and making him most beloved by those who 
knew him best, which the historian must despair of transmitting to the 
generations following. One may attempt to depict such a character, 
but in delineating its traits he finds that they fade into cold abstrac- 
tions, like sunlight into its prismatic rays in a spectrum ; the glow, the 
charm, the warm and living presence which transfused and kindled and 
quickened them all is no longer there, and the task seems well-nigh 
in vain. 

It may not be out of place to add here that the work of preparing 
this volume is of a character entirely unwonted to the writer. It has 
been carried on by him in the midst of other and pressing labors, and 
he has been under no little embarrassment in attempting to do simple 
justice to the subject of the memoir, without laying himself open to 
the criticism of bias by reason of personal relationship, and perhaps, 
also, to criticism of attempting to deal with themes which might be 
more appropriately dwelt upon by a stranger. 

Once more, and finally. The life of Dr. Post, as already said, 
carried him through stormy public crises. It is well known that in 
the battles for Congregationalism and the Fedeial Union, in Missouri, 
he took a conspicuous part. And among the readers of this volume, 
there will doubtless be many, as there were many among his warm and 
personal friends, whose sympathies and opinions were widely opposed 
to the course pursued by him during those controversies. Such read- 
ers will hardly need the assurance that there is no wish in these pages 
to stir the embers of party or sectarian feuds. But a memoir ignoring 
or glossing over such periods, and his own public utterances of the 
times, would present his life with its most conspicuous events left out 
or half told. Such a biography of Dr. Post would be not only glar- 
ingly incomplete, but would omit the very facts which, more than all 
others, bore witness to his moral manhood. Happily, the issues fought 
over in those days are no longer living issues, and as they are referred 
to in these pages it is trusted that the reader will find in the narrative 
neither root of bitterness nor challenge to controversy, but merely a 
faithful chronicle of events and a record of that bravery for conviction 
which all persons, of whatever school in politics or religion, will be 
glad to honor. 

Put it is high time that the volume should go to press, if it is to be 
published at all, and it is given to the reader without further explana- 
tions, or apologies for its shortcomings. T. A. P. 




Stephen Post. — Roswell Post. — Martin Post: his marriage with Sarah 
Hulburd, and birth of his sons Martin, Aurelian, and Truman. — His 
career and early death. — The Cornwall homestead and church and 
graveyard. Pages 1-6. 



Marriage of Martin Post's widow with Captain Hand, and offspring of this 
union. — Larrabee's Point : its scenery and legends. — Early home and 
life in Shoreham, and youth in Orwell. Pages 7-15. 



Preparation for college and matriculation. — Picturesque Middlebury. — Its 
noted men and college faculty in 1825. — College days and graduation. 
Pages 16-30. 



A year spent by Mr. Post at Castleton as principal of its Seminary, and 
tutorship of two years following in Middlebury. — Social life there. — 
The Henshaw household. — Visits to Norfolk, Conn., and to Homer, 
N. Y., at the time of his brother Martin's wedding. — Sickness well-nigh 
fatal in 183 1. Pages 31-40. 



Andover Seminary and theology. — Winter of 1832-33 in Washington.— 
Recollections of Marshall, Story, Wirt, Taney, Clay, and Webster; also, 
of Governor Duncan, of Jacksonville, 111. —Journey West in spring of 


1S33, through the Alleghanies, down the Ohio, up to St. Louis and thence 
to Jacksonville. — That village in 1833. — Home of Governor Duncan. 
— Judge Lockwood and his family. — Stephen A. Douglas. — General 
Hardin and his wife, afterwards Mrs. Walworth. — Appointment to 
professorship in Illinois College. Pages 41-54. 



Early days in Jacksonville. — Illinois College in 1833. — "Cholera year." — 
Northern trip and Indian Treaty in Chicago. — Dangerous illness in 
Jacksonville and religious experiences. Pages 55-62. 


Organization of the Congregational church at Jacksonville. — Public pro- 
fession of religion, and how it was brought about. — Letter picturing 
college life and surroundings. — Address at teachers' convention at 
Cincinnati. — Death of Aurelian Post. — Blind days and Poetry. Pages 



Trip to the east in 1835, and marriage. — Wedding journey to Jacksonville. — 
Winter of 1S35-36 at college. — Purchase of the Lockwood place. — 
Strange night's adventure. — The new home : its inmates and surround- 
ings, — Newton Bateman. — Augustus Hand. — H. B. McClure and wife 
come West. — Visit of Madam Henshaw. — Story of a boar hunt. Pages 




Daniel Webster in Jacksonville. — The slave-power in Illinois in 1837. — 
Fourth of July oration. — Death of Lovejoy and "Address to the people 
of Alton." Pages 90-106. 



Illness at home. — Visit to Logansport. — Death of Mrs. Sarah Hand. — 
Trip through Northern Illinois in 1840. More as to the Jacksonville 
Congregational church. — The pastorate over it. — Views on systematic 


theologies, ecclesiastical order, terms of communion, and extempore 
preaching. — Visit to Middlebury in 1843, ai, d preaching in the old 
Congregational church. — Ascent of Mount Lincoln. — Death of Gov- 
ernor Duncan. Pages 107-123. 



Address in 1844 on "The Heroism of the Democratic Ages," and trip to 
Lebanon, 111. — Contributions to The Biblical Repository on "The 
Immortality of the Soul." Pages 124-136. 



Misadventures of a trip to Burlington. — Letters and Mss. in 1846 descriptive 
of Mackinac Island and strange incidents and serious illness there. — 
Scarlet fever at home. Pages 137-148. 



Call to the Third Presbyterian Church in St. Louis. — Call to Middlebury 
College. — Pressure from St. Louis, and obstacles in the way of removal 
thither. — Inducements that favored the call to St. Louis; its final 
acceptance. — The last years in Jacksonville. — The ideal home in 
retrospect. Pages 149-160. 



First years in St. Louis. — Lecture on the Pilgrim Fathers. — La Clede Saloon 
disaster. — Address at dedication of Bellefontaine Cemetery. Pages 



Address at Middlebury, Vt., on "Genius." — Early friends in St. Louis. — 
Article on " The ' Moral Obligations of the Legal Profession." — 
Literary reviews. — "The Voices of History." — A'^FareweU to 1850." 
Pages 183-200. 




Struggle of Congregationalism, and founding of the First Congregational 
Church in St. Louis. — Address on "Congregationalism; and the 
Expediency of forming a Congregational Church." — The St. Louis 
home. — Incidents in 1852-54. — Sundry addresses in the East. Pages 


Mr. Post and the cause of education. — Addresses at Illinois College. — 
Gasconade disaster. Pages 217-228. 



Call to South Brooklyn. — The new chapel. — Articles on " Immortality." — 
" The Skeptical Era." — Address at Iowa College on " Religion and 
Education." — Letter to sons at Vale. — Address at Norwich, Conn., 
and various incidents. Pages 229-240. 


Christmas Discourses in 1859 on "The Greatness and Power of Faith as 
Illustrated by the Pilgrim Fathers," and on "The Vitality of Christianity." 
Pages 241-259. 



Dedication of the new church at Tenth and Locust streets. — Its standing 
and influence. — The civil war. — The loyal pulpit as a factor in 
molding public opinion in St. Louis in 1860-61. — Public services of 
Dr. Post in this crisis. — Patriotism of the First Congregational Church. 

— Camp Jackson. — Sermon of Dr. Post on Fast Day in November, 
1861. Pages 260-280. 



War papers: "Guerrilla war"; "Price's proclamation"; "What ails us?" 

— Address on Palingenesy. Pages 281-301. 




Assassination of President Lincoln, and services at the First and Second 
Presbyterian churches in St. Louis. — Sermon at the First Congregational 
Church, on " The Duty of Intercessory Prayer." — Paper in The North 
American Review, on " Free Missouri." Pages 302-312. 



Blind days again ; and removal of cataract in Boston. — Articles in The 
Chicago Advance on "Old Age." Pages 31*324. 



Pilgrim Chapel. — Services of recognition. — Sundry publications relating to 
national politics. Pages 325-339. 



Address before the State Officers and Legislature at Springfield, 111., on 
" History as a Teacher of Social and Political Science." Pages 340-355. 



Address in Chicago, at the 250th Anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims, 
on " The Occasion and the Situation." Pages 356-370. 



Sermons on the Church Fathers, and Discourse before the American Board 
on " The Ministrant Church." — Tripsin 1873 to Colorado and Europe. 
— Death of Mrs. Post, and letter to Daniel Roberts. — Letter from 
Ferrisburg two years afterwards. Pages 371-379. 


Address in Broadway Tabernacle, New York — " Our Country as a Factor 


in the Kingdom of Christ. - ' — Monograph on the Second Advent. — 
"Congregationalism: the Life Story." — Class Semi-Centennial Address 
in Middlebury, and letters to Calvin Hulburd. — Address in Chicago at 
the Annual Banquet of the Sons of Vermont. — Sermon in St. Louis 
before the American Board, on "The Outlook of the Times; the Trend 
of the World." Pages 3S0-394. 



Resignation by Dr. Tost^f his Pastorate. — Hammond Library bequest to 
the Chicago Theological Seminary, and response of Dr. Post for the 
Seminary. — Letters on Various Topics. — Summers at Biddeford Pool 
and elsewhere. Pages 395-405. 



Semi-Centennial of the Congregational Church at Jacksonville, and Sermon 
by Dr. Post. — Article in The Andover Review on "Transition Periods 
in Religious Thought." — Death of Mrs. Clara H. Young, and Letters 
to Mrs. M. C. Mead and Calvin Hulbuid. Pages 406-419. 



Address at unveiling of the Blair Monument, and at the funeral of Samuel 
T. Glover. — Articles in The Andover Review on the "Life of William 
Lloyd Garrison " and on " The Things which Cannot be Shaken." Pages 



Signs of the coming end. — Visit to Des Moines at meeting of the American 
Board. — Fatal illness and death in December, 1886. Pages 433-437. 



Pages 438-451. 




Expression of the Press on the death of Dr. Post, and Tributes from the 
United States Court and Religious and Educational Societies in St. Louis 
and elsewhere throughout the country. Pages 452-461. 



Some marked traits in the character of Dr. Post. — His enthusiasm in mental 
pursuits. — His manifold learning and freedom from pedantry. — His 
idealism. — His poetic genius. — His favorite authors. — His love of 
nature. — His "Indian summer" cast of thought. — His sense of the 
unseen world and of the value of human opportunity. — His mental and 
moral manhood. — His characteristics as a public speaker. — His pathos. 
— His purity and freshness of soul. — His religious beliefs. — The result 
of his lifework. — Two pictures. Pages 462-479. 


Thesaurus of treasured thoughts and pictures taken here and there from the 
writings of Dr. Post. Pages 481-500. 


Of Names and Subjects. Pages 501-507. 

J? ^.a^?r 

From Ambrotype Picture taken about the year 1850. 




Stephen Post. — Roswell Post- — Martin Post : his marriage with Sarah 
Hulburd, and birth of his sons Martin, Aurelian, and Truman. — His 
career and early death. — The Cornwall homestead and church and 

IT was hardly more than fifteen years after the landing 
of the Pilgrims, when Stephen Post came from 
England, and with a band of his countrymen settled 
Cambridge, Mass. He subsequently went to Saybrook, 
Conn., where his lineage took root, and from whence it 
has sent its offshoots through the country to the seventh 
and eighth generations. Stephen Post was a friend of 
Uncas in the Pequot war, he was one of the builders of 
the old fort at the mouth of the Connecticut, and was in 
his clay a man of considerable distinction. His dust, with 
that of many of his descendants, mingles with the soil of 
this region, while a goodly number of his name are among 
its living inhabitants. In 1753 his grandson, Roswell, 
moved to Rutland, Vt., where a house still standing is 
pointed out as the "old Post mansion," and where he died 
and was buried. Roswell's son and namesake was a soldier 
in the Revolution, with Ethan Allen at Ticonderoga and 
with Stark at Bennington, and probably among the " Con- 
tinentals " under Washington. He attained some civic 
distinction, having served three terms in the Vermont 
legislature. In 1773 he settled in Cornwall, and was one 


of the founders of the Congregational church there, and 
one of its officers till his death in 1827. 

Of his marriage with Martha Mead, of Killingworth, 
Conn., were born a number of children, and among them 
was Martin Post, father of the subject of this memoir. 
Of his life little remains but tradition — the brief story 
of one having great promise who died too early. His 
name is not on the records of the Cornwall Church, but he 
was said to be a man of earnest religious character, a regu- 
lar attendant on "public worship," and a daily student of 
the Bible and of books of high moral order. He studied 
law with Seth Storrs, Esq., a prominent Middlebury 
lawyer, and was admitted to the bar early in 1802 ; 
during the interval till 1804 he seems to have practiced 
law in Jericho, Vt. ; and while there he married Sarah 
Hulburd, of Orwell Village, a woman of noble type and 
devoted piety. 

Shortly after his marriage he removed to Cornwall and 
built a small house not far away from his father's home- 
stead, and there he continued the practice of law until 
1808, and is said to have been the only one of his pro- 
fession who ever attempted to ply his vocation in that 
harmonious township. From monetary or other consid- 
erations he did not confine himself to the profession of 
law, but was clerk of the Vermont House of Represent- 
atives from 1804 to 1808, and also clerk of the Addison 
County Court from 1808 to 18 10. With the commence- 
ment of his work in the latter office he moved from Corn- 
wall to Middlebury, where he is said to have formed a law 
partnership with Horatio Seymour. From Mr. Seymour 
he bought a little parcel of ground in the village, and 
built a modest cottage, overlooking the pretty wooded 
valley of Otter Creek. Of this house the eye searches 
in vain for any trace except a patchwork of old red 


clapboards framed into the ell of a more pretending 
structure of much later date. 

Cornwall was the birthplace of his sons, Martin Mer- 
cillian and Aurelian Hulburd, of whom frequent mention 
will be made later in these pages. It may be said here, 
although somewhat in anticipation, that Martin gradu- 
ated at Middlebury College, valedictorian in the class of 
1826, and having passed through a theological course at 
Andover, came at the age of twenty-five to Logansport, 
Ind. (at that time an Indian trading post in an almost 
unbroken wilderness), where he remained till his death, 
October 11, 1876, and where he organized a church of 
which he continued pastor for many years and until his 
growing infirmities compelled him to resign. He was 
one of the founders of Wabash College and intimately 
associated with the various seminaries and churches 
which sprang up in the surrounding region. He was a 
modest, earnest, scholarly and saintly man, of rare purity 
of heart and life. Of his five sons, three are still living 
and engaged in the ministry. Two daughters also sur- 
vive, both of whom are married, one residing in Logans- 
port and one in New York. 

Aurelian graduated at Middlebury in 1832, and com- 
menced a course of theological studies at Andover, but 
was compelled to abandon it by failure of health. He 
then undertook to teach a private school at Medford, 
Mass., but found himself inadequate to the rigor of a 
northern climate and went to Mississippi, where he con- 
tinued his labors until, having been completely broken in 
health, he came north to die at the house of his brother 
Martin, in Logansport, in 1834. 

The subject of this memoir, Truman Marcellus Post, 
was born at his father's house in Middlebury, June 3, 
18 10. The first name was driven for an uncle who after- 


wards migrated to Illinois and made for himself a farm 
home not far from Jacksonville and adjoining the village 
of Waverly, where he lived — and in the later days 
received stray visits from his namesake — down to the 
time of his death in 1847. Martin Post the elder seems 
to have had a penchant for Roman patronymics, as the 
name of Marcellus, like that of Aurelian, was borrowed 
directly from antiquity. 

In the year 181 1, when in his thirty-third year, Martin 
Post died at Middlebury. Truman was at that time only 
eight months old and there was something pathetic in the 
manner in which in after years his mind went groping 
through the traditions of his father's life, as if striving to 
lift the veil that hid it from his eyes. Toward the close 
of his own life, and by the merest accident, he came 
across a journal which had been kept by Martin Post 
in his twenty-first year while engaged in teaching, and, 
as he spent the night over its record of humble begin- 
nings and lofty aspirations, it seemed, as he afterward 
said, "like a revelation from another world." 

After his death the body of Martin Post was taken 
back to the scene of his youth and early manhood, and 
buried almost in sight of the ancestral home, in the 
churchyard of Cornwall, beside his mother and close to 
the spot where his father Roswell was buried fourteen 
years afterward. 

A slab, now somewhat dimmed with time and flecked 
with lichen, bears the date of his birth and death, with 
these lines, taken perhaps from some old hymn : — 

Beneath this stone Death's prisoner lies. 
The stone shall move, the prisoner rise, 
When Jesus, with almighty word, 
Calls sleeping saints to meet their Lord. 

Cornwall was a region greatly beloved and hallowed by 


Dr. Post. The house of his grandfather Roswell was a 
place of frequent and familiar resort, and indeed was 
almost a home, for his boyhood. He remembered the 
grandsire "as a tall, white-haired, venerable man, who 
seemed, with his stories of the Revolution, to have come 
from a former age." And there in Cornwall was the 
"meetinghouse" where his grandfather's family were 
wont to worship, where his father had worshiped in 
former years, and where he himself received some of 
his earliest and strongest religious impressions, and 
doubtless in large measure that love for the Congrega- 
tional type which became so manifest in after years. In 
the walls of that church Congregationalism was handed 
down as a household faith, and so came to have not merely 
the power of a conviction, but that of a family tie and a 
heritage of the blood. 

But the spot of all others that drew his thoughts and 
footsteps to Cornwall was the simple graveyard near to 
the church. The place was one which seemed to have 
been meant, by nature as well as man's device, for holy 
uses and meditation. Afar from the stir of life and on 
the brow of a hill, it looks across the peaceful landscape 
of farms away to the westward where hazy mountains are 
watching the scene like a spirit of repose. Here the sun 
comes earliest in the morning, and here he lingers when 
all the valley is wrapt in twilight. Down below in the 
meadow one may see the farmers busy in the August days 
harvesting the grain, just as their fathers harvested for a 
hundred years before ; and one thinks how in like manner 
on this upland the fathers of the hamlet have been har- 
vested in, generation after generation. 

In 1885, replying to an invitation to preach the centen- 
nial discourse commemorative of the Cornwall Church, 
Dr. Post writes as follows : — 


"The occasion would be to me one of deep and 
precious interest. My heart has ever been loyal to old 
Vermont. The graves of my ancestors are in your 
churchyard, and many memories of my childhood and 
early youth go back to the old church and call up the 
living scenery wont to be presented there more than half 
a hundred years ago — faces and forms loved and revered 
and voices of music and wisdom which long since have 
been silent in this world. Many of the pleasant associa- 
tions of my boyhood wander back amid the kind, pure, 
cultivated, and pious homes and the beautiful scenery of 
your town." 



Marriage of Martin Post's widow with Captain Hand, and offspring of this 
union. — Larrabee's Point: its scenery and legends. — Early home and 
life in Shoreham, and youth in Orwell. 

IN 1 813 the widow of Martin Post, with her three 
boys, left Middlebury for the home of her father, 
Ebenezer Hulburd, on the old road from Orwell to Ben- 
son; and there, in 18 14, she married a retired shipmaster, 
Captain Augustus Hand, then living near Larrabee's Point 
in Shoreham. In this home were born Augustus F. 1 and 
Oliver, and Sarah Jane, Hand (afterwards Mrs. Fuller), of 
whom more hereafter. 

There is doubtless a mystery in personal character 
which is not to be accounted for by any circumstances of 
time or place ; and it is equally true that the environment 
of early life, its habitudes and the scenes and moods of 
nature in which it is cast, are most potent factors in 
developing and molding the original germ. 

The scenery of Larrabee's Point is specially noteworthy 
in this narrative, not merely because of its rare beauty, 
but because it showed the same face as now to the boy 
that gazed on it seventy years ago ; and the impressions 
made on childhood then may be gathered by one who 
stands there to-day. 

Two miles or more to the south, on the east side of 
Lake Champlain, were the low timbered ridge and pro- 
jecting rocky ledge of Mount Independence. On the 

1 Died Jun« 15, 1890. 


west and across the narrow channel of the lake stood 
the gray gables and dismantled walls of Ticonderoga, 
and frowning down on the fort was the rugged and pine- 
clad promontory of Mount Defiance ; while to the north- 
ward, fronting the lake and guarding the then mysterious 
wilderness behind, was the lesser range of the Adiron- 
dacks, with here and there a lordlier summit far off and 
solitary, looking down over its satellites or through some 
long mountain canon. The scene was one to fill the eye 
of the painter and poet and stir the blood of the sons of 
the Revolution. And, with its passing beauty even to a 
stranger, how the charm of that picture of lake and hill 
and forest must have deepened with added time and asso- 
ciation ! Its mountains would grow more familiar and 
beloved from year to year from their picturesque and 
changeless contours, and yet they wooed the eye with 
perpetual change of light and shadow and varying hues ; 
flushing with dawn and gray with nightfall, always 
somber with their pines, but with each returning autumn 
flecked with the scarlet and gold of their deciduous 
foliage; in the Indian summer melting into purple haze, 
and glittering at last with the snowy mantle of the keen 
New England winter. Like the warp and woof in the 
garment of Faust's Earth Spirit were the colors woven 
by the hours and the seasons on that landscape at Shore- 
ham. And it was here in the farm home that faced the 
lake at Larrabee's Point that ten of the first conscious 
years of the subject of this narrative were spent. 

In an address delivered to his classmates at Middlebury 
fifty years after his graduation, he says : - 

" Among the many things for which I am grateful to 
the land of my birth, it wakes my special gratitude that 
she early taught me the love of nature in her wild moods 
and places, as well as in her sweet and gentle aspects ; in 


the lake, the forest, the storm, and the mountain, as well 
as the quiet brook and dreamy dell. This love, which has 
lured me ever, on opportunity, to seek her, away from the 
city, in her own solitudes, I regard as one of the richest 
gifts of my early nurture, one of the most precious 
endowments of education. It has been to me a lifelong: 
ministry, both of pleasure and of health — a physical and 
spiritual life-fountain. Those grand and awful mountains, 
they were the joy of my childhood and youth, as they 
wore the charm of the unsealed and unscalable. They 
have been the joy of my return from distant climes, as 
their secret has been penetrated by the feet of the 
climber. They have been the joy of my dreams on far- 
off, illimitable plains, where clouds alone could type their 
grandeur to the fancy. They have breathed on the child 
of New England their mighty spell, as on their awful top 
I have slept on their cloud-rests, and felt the heartbeat 
of the great mother pulsating up all night through the 

In the boyhood of Truman Post the landscape of Lake 
Champlain was already historic with the story of Aber- 
crombie and Ethan Allen, and the fall of Ticonderoga, 
and the cannon-crowned summits of Independence and 
Mount Defiance. The taking of the old fort was some- 
thing more than general history. It was a legend told 
at the Cornwall fireside and afterward repeated by the 
grandson to his children, with many an added story of 
his own childhood ; and thus the scenery of Shoreham, 
with the younger generation, came to be a sort of family 
classic, and invested with something of his own wistful 
and loving memories. At Larrabee's Point, when hardly 
five years old, he had heard the awful detonations from 
the black hulks of the British men-of-war, trophies of 
Plattsburg, as they floated along the lake in grim proces- 


sion, terrible even in captivity. Rare sport in swimming 
was there in Lake Champlain ; and over its frozen sur- 
face for many a long mile the boys sped away with the 
wind in the winter's moonlight. On the Vermont shore, 
when coming home with the cows, they could hear the 
fitful howl of the wolf from across the water, and their 
pulses would cool at the sound. On this lake a ship's 
captain fell through the ice, and was saved by Master 
Truman from drowning; and the rescuer, then hardly 
ten years old, was taken on board by the captain and 
made into quite a hero. 

The Shoreham farmhouse was a plain clapboarded and 
gabled structure, a story and a half in height, substantial 
but unpretending, with old-fashioned small window-panes, 
and fireplaces deep and ample after the fashion of those 
days. It stood hardly a stone's throw from the water's 
edge, and, with its row of poplars rising like plumes above 
the roof, made quite a brave show to passing vessels. The 
household at Shoreham consisted of Captain Hand and 
his wife, and the five brothers and their " sister Jane." 
The manner of life there was very simple and largely out- 
of-doors. While not at school or engaged in study, the 
older boys were occupied most of the time in tasks about 
the farm, and during the seasons of planting and reaping 
in hard labor with the field hands ; and the spare after- 
noons and holidays afforded many an opportunity to 
switch the streams for trout, or explore the woods for nuts 
or game. And in this rugged out-of-door life, with its 
labor in the harvest, its buffet with the long winter snow, 
and its hardy pastimes, may be traced a physical education 
which put the toughness of the New England pine into 
the fibre of subsequent manhood. 

The nervous strength and activity of Truman in his 
early boyhood are handed down in family chronicles as 


something phenomenal. His brother, Dr. Augustus Hand, 
writes: "He was fond of all kinds of out-of-door sports. 
Into them he entered with all the vigor and spirit of his 
character, which fact made him not only a favorite and 
leader, but the boast of all the boys in the neighborhood 
on both sides of the lake." While yet a mere lad he had 
already gained quite a local fame as champion wrestler in 
the neighborhood ; and his title to such reputation may be 
judged from an incident here given as an illustration : — 

Once while the hired men were washing sheep in East 
Creek near the Shoreham farmhouse, Truman was sitting: 
on the bank and poring over a book very much after his 
wont. One of the men, seeing, as he thought, an easy 
subject in the rosy-faced and curly-headed boy, concluded 
to run up behind him unawares and tumble him headfore- 
most into the stream ; but his anticipated victim somehow 
got wind of the project, and as the farmhand came charg- 
ing at him under full headway from the rear, Truman 
leaned forward, and with a sudden and dexterous whirl 
had the fellow in an instant over his shoulders and down 
headforemost into the water and there ducked him till he 
begged for mercy. 

The achievements deserving mention during the boy- 
hood at Shoreham were by no means confined to those in 
the line of physical athletics. His prowess in scholarship 
was equally precocious and noteworthy. 

Martin, Aurelian, and Truman, during the very early 
years, attended a country school held in a little building, 
the shell of which is still to be seen on the hill half a 
mile east of Larrabee's Point ; and at that time, as Dr. 
Hand writes, "he manifested a great fondness for all 
kinds of reading, and surprised every one by the eager- 
ness with which he devoured volume after volume of 
books upon subjects which were supposed far beyond one 


of his years to understand. Yet he seemed to master 
everything he read. Whether it was history, poetry, or 
science, he had the same insatiable greed for them all. 
Milton's Paradise Lost was among the books of my 
father's small library, and I well remember the neighbor- 
hood talk about his reading and rereading it and other 
books which few of the old folks could understand. 
Nothing seemed ' hard study ' for him. It was relish 
alone — something like fascination — that led him on in 
everything he did. It was at the age of nine years that he 
first ' touched figures,' and then this work was incidental. 
The country schoolhouse was about half a mile from his 
home and it was the custom of the times for the boys to 
take turns in starting the schoolhouse fire in the morn- 
ing. Truman, being a little boy, was considered too 
young for such a task in the cold mornings of a Ver- 
mont winter. But one day when it came the turn of his 
brother Martin, who had some ' chores ' to do before he 
could go, Truman was commissioned to make the fire at 
the schoolhouse. Accordingly, hot coals were fixed in 
the oldtime foot-stove, then in common use, and the boy 
of nine years, holding the stove by one hand and a hot 
' nut-cake ' in the other, started off facing the wintry 
storm to make the fire. I suppose everything went right, 
for every morning after that the boy wanted, and was 
permitted, to make the early fire, his mother always put- 
ting the hot nut-cake in his hand. No one knew what the 
object was until near the end of the term, when it was 
discovered that during these morning hours, without 
assistance and unknown, he had gone through and 
thoroughly mastered the arithmetic used in those days. 
I was too young to know anything of this at that time, 
but I learned of it afterwards, and I well remember, and 
it was one of the first things I do remember of school, 



that all the big boys and girls, and sometimes the 
teachers, would go to the little boy, my brother Truman, 
with their hard sums in arithmetic." 

Any narrative made up by a stranger, and at a time so 
far removed as the present, must necessarily be meager; 
but the above sketch may give some outline of the life 
at Shoreham, and of it little more remains to be said. 
That chapter in the life of Dr. Post was one to which, in 
the college days and through after life, on to the very 
latest, his thoughts turned back with a yearning fondness 
which seemed to grow stronger with the years and with 
his removal to other lands. His attachment for the kin- 
dred in his Shoreham home was characteristically strong 
and loyal and unchanging. With Aurelian he was spe- 
cially intimate, and with him he skated and hunted and 
ranged the woods, and fished through East Creek and 
Lemon Fair ; and his fondness for Aurelian was intensi- 
fied in after years by reason of this brother's untimely 
death. In 1S22 Martin went away to college, and the 
love of Truman for Augustus and Oliver and Jane took 
a peculiarly thoughtful and careful type, as though in the 
absence of brother Martin they were committed to his 
personal keeping. His affection for his mother was that 
of the tenderest devotion and the sorrow of his early sep- 
aration from her was one of the deepest griefs, as it was 
the first great grief, of his life. 

That event occurred in 1824 during his fifteenth year; 
and the step was taken by him after a long mental strug- 
gle and with a bitter heart pang. This event was his 
departure — never to return as an inmate — from the 
home at Larrabee's Point. 

Of the cause which induced him to leave, it is unneces- 
sary to speak in detail. For the purpose of this narrative 
it is sufficient to say that Captain Hand had been a sea- 



faring man, the master of a ship's crew, and accustomed 
always to unquestioning and absolute obedience ; that his 
temper was imperious and subject to frequent and violent 
outbreaks, and his disposition and treatment were such as 
at last to necessitate the departure. And so, with the sad 
consent of his mother, and after a solemn and mournful 
farewell, Truman started off with a bundle containing 
all his worldly effects, and, having walked six miles across 
the country to the house of his uncle and guardian, 
Deacon Dorus Bascom, then living near the village of 
Orwell, he was kindly received by his uncle, although 
entirely unannounced, and became at once a member of 
his family. 

At that time the Bascom household consisted, besides 
the father and mother, of Semantha (afterward wife of 
Rev. H. H. Bates, of Glens Falls, N. Y.) and three sons, 
Oliver, Samuel, and Franklin. Two older daughters, 
Clarinda (Mrs. Samuel Howard) and Emily (Mrs. Riley 
Sanford), were already married and away. Of the sons of 
Deacon Bascom, Oliver subsequently made his home on a 
farm overlooking a stretch of valley lands and glimpses of 
Lake Champlain a mile away; and there he lived till his 
death, a few years since. He was a deacon, as his father 
had been before him, in the Orwell Church. He was a 
man of deeply religious character, of simple manners and 
life, and of most sterling integrity. Franklin Bascom 
secured a liberal schooling, and has since done most effi- 
cient work in different places, in the higher branches of 
education. Samuel Bascom remained in the old home- 
stead, a mile to the west of Orwell village, and still carries 
on the ancestral farm. Oliver was about the age of 
Truman, and more like a brother than a cousin. Till his 
departure for Middlebury, Truman remained with his 
Orwell relatives, and shared with them in their farm- 


work and in their pastimes, and with them he spent most 
of his spare days during the college vacations. Among 
them he found a welcome in the summer visits of later 
life, and the old associations were thus kept fresh, and 
the old memories continued green unto the end. 



Preparation for college and matriculation. — Picturesque Middlebury. — Its 
noted men and college faculty in 1825. — College days and graduation. 

EARLY in 1825 Master Post was in Middlebury, pre- 
paring for college and studying Latin with Lucius 
Tilden, then preceptor of the Addison County Grammar 
School, directly adjoining Martin Post's home of fifteen 
years before. 

Of Mr. Tilden and his teachings Dr. Post writes, a 
month before his own death : — 

" He had touched my life long ago, had touched it 
pleasantly ; had touched it when life was all aglow with 
the freshness, the mystery, the ideals of morning. He 
was with me, my teacher, when first were opened to me 
the portals of Latin speech, with its, to me, new world- 
aspect and structure of thought, its personnel, passion, 
and drama of humanity. . . . He was a distinct figure and 
factor, if not a creator and molder, in quite a living and 
formative germinal period of my life, and I recollect him 
then, as in after years, as pleasant, kindly, genial. It 
seems strange to think of him as belonging to a gone 

Of the matriculation for Middlebury College, and of 
the first meeting with his classmate Post on that occa- 
sion, Daniel Roberts, the intimate friend of college days 
and of after life, makes mention in a memorial address 
at the commencement anniversary of 1887: — 


" The evening of that day we met upon the college 
green and, in our suddenly formed friendship, felicitated 
each other upon our happy escape from plucking, our 
hearts beating high with hope and great expectations. 
It is very fresh in my memory to-day, though this was 
nearly sixty-two years ago. How lovely was the night 
and balmy the air ! and how we walked up and down 
declaiming such choice specimens of oratory as we knew, 
and 'spouting' poetry to the moon and the stars : 'Ye stars 
that are the poetry of heaven,' ' Sun of the sleepless, 
melancholy star,' 'Now came still evening on,' etc., in 
all which Post was much readier and more prolific than 
myself ; and our happy meeting closed with an impromptu 
wrestling bout, in which, by the kind aid of Hercules, or 
by accident, I won of him my first and only victory in 
any department of deserving endeavor." 

The class of 1829 was an unusually gifted one. It had 
eighteen members, among whom were Sheridan Guiteau, 
afterward a Presbyterian clergyman, and in his later years 
agent for the American Bible Society in Baltimore ; E. F. 
Hatfield, also a Presbyterian clergyman, whom Mr. Post 
met in St. Louis in 1833; Calvin Hulburd, of Brasher 
Falls, N. Y., a first cousin of Mr. Post, afterward a prom- 
inent member of the Republican party and a member of 
Congress from that state ; and Daniel Roberts, already 
mentioned, long a leading member of the bar of Burling- 
ton, Vt. "Painter's Hall," the blue-gray granite build- 
ing of four stories on the hill to the west of the village, 
then pretty much out of town, was used as study and 
sleeping quarters by the undergraduates and tutors. 
And across the naked campus, below it, and toward the 
village was a three-story, white clapboarded building, 
standing on the site of the present public schoolhouse, 
known as the "Old College," in which were the chapel 


and library and recitation rooms. The chapel was plain 
in its appointments as Puritan simplicity could desire. 
Its seats were uncushioned and without backs, save a 
single horizontal slat. On the platform was simply a 
wooden desk, at which President Bates would conduct 
morning prayers garnished with singing, in which the 
students remember his fine tenor in "Scotland" and 
other sweet psalmody. The somewhat monkish custom 
then prevailed of conducting prayers by candlelight ; 
and the fireless chapel on those winter mornings gave 
to the exercises a savor of penance as well as devotion. 

On each Sunday the students assembled in the galleries 
of the Congregational church and heard discourses from 
Rev. Thomas A. Merrill, the pastor, who had been vale- 
dictorian at Dartmouth in the same class with Daniel 
Webster, and was a man of great piety and learning. 

On Commencement days the whole body of students 
proceeded solenni more from the college to the church, 
headed by Dr. Bates in official gown, and by the pro- 
fessors, all marching to the tap of the drum and to such 
inspiring strains as " The Hunters' Chorus," in Der 
Freischiitz, from Kendall's band. 

The college faculty was thrown into close daily contact 
with the students, and some of its members left a deep 
and lasting impress upon the young men. 

President Bates is said to have been a man of portly 
and imposing presence, quite an admirable figure on the 
platform, a fine speaker, and a delightful singer. His 
scholarship is attested by the fact that in 1800 he bore 
off the first honors at Harvard over classmates of the 
standing of Judge Shaw. John Hough was professor of 
Latin and Greek, an excellent linguist, and a man of 
sharp and trenchant intellect. And both of these men, 
not to mention others, were thrown into intimate personal 


relations then and afterward with the subject of this 

Middlebury at that time had among its people, oufside 
of the college professors, not a few men of prominent 
standing in that region and throughout the state ; and 
their power was felt, not only by the community, but in a 
large degree by the college itself. Some of them were 
the warm family and personal friends of Master Post 
during the college life, and men for whom he cherished 
grateful recollections in all the years that followed. There 
was Horatio Seymour — counted by many to have been an 
abler man than his more famous namesake in New York 
— who was closely connected in friendship and business 
relations with Martin Post the elder ; and there was Daniel 
Chipman, quite noted in his time, and imperishably asso- 
ciated with the history of Middlebury through the hill 
which bears his family name ; then there was S. S. Phelps, 
a famous jurist and United States senator and father of 
the late Minister to England ; and there were Judge 
Swift — the friend of Truman as of his father before 
him — and Hon. William Slade, and Seth Storrs who 
was one of the earliest and foremost benefactors of the 

Relative to these social influences of his college days is 
the following from the Semi-Centennial Address of Dr. 
Post, in 1879, already referred to : — 

" The college becomes the capital interest of the vil- 
lage, its foster child, the object of local pride, affection, 
and kindly offices, nucleus and center of many of its 
enterprises. The consciousness of identity of interest 
extends itself in kindly feeling toward the students, and 
results in a reciprocal interest, stimulating, refining, and 
beneficent to both parties. 

" Much do we, the old alumni, certainly owe to the people 


of this town, old and young, to those in literary, profes- 
sional, and business pursuits as well as to those embel- 
lishing its general social life. There are names of such, 
familiar, dear, which crowd upon me now, which I may 
not stop to recite. Still they seem to live, waiting to 
greet us on our return, coming a phantom army from 
under the skies of morning. As in boyhood they wrought 
us blessings, so do they ever. They touch the life pulse, 
they quicken the heart throb through all the years." 

During the freshman year Master Post roomed with his 
cousin, Calvin Hulburd, in Painter's Hall, and for a time, 
probably, in the same dormitory with his brother Martin. 
For a while he lodged near the colleges in a students' 
boarding house, kept by Mrs. Foote, whose son Solomon 
(afterwards well known as presiding officer of the United 
States Senate) was his roommate ; and for a portion of 
of the college course he boarded with Professor Hough 
in his home on Waybridge Road. 

While an undergraduate Master Post was not much 
given to social visiting. When not in the recitation 
room or dormitory, he was often out on a solitary walk, 
or a stroll with some classmate. The love of nature bred 
on the shore of Lake Champlain seemed to grow with 
what it fed on, and in the life at Middlebury College it 
found charm and inspiration at every hand. The grace- 
ful and rounded slope of Chipman's Hill invited young 
men and maidens to a tryst at the summit, and one 
never grew too old to feel his pulse quicken at the 
sight of its marvelous panorama. To the north, half 
shut from view and in the haze, was the " Chin " of 
Mansfield, and not far from it, jutting up among its foot- 
hills, like a crouching lion among his whelps, was the top- 
most peak of Camel's Hump. To the east was Dunmore 
Mountain, long, shaggy, and somber, stretching south 

Congregational Meeting House Middlebury, Vermont. 


from Bristol Gap, and behind it rose the bald crest of 
Lincoln. On the south was the Rutland chain, and to 
the southwest was Black Mountain with the lesser hills 
of Lake George. In the western foreground was Snake 
Mountain, famous for its prospect, and away against the 
western sky, sometimes in the frosty air very close at 
hand, sometimes through the smoky atmosphere looking 
"far, vague, and dim," were the Adirondacks, skirting the 
life at Middlebury as that at Shoreham and Orwell, but as 
yet mysterious and unexplored, and standing across the 
track of sunset, very much, as one might fancy, like " the 
undiscovered country " beyond our earthly horizon. 

Near by and nestling at the base of Chipman was the 
little village of Middlebury, with its houses half hidden 
by the foliage, and the solitary clock spire whose bell 
sent up its vibrations through the drowsy air. 

The old Congregational church stood there then as 
now, with its white and graceful front, looking across 
the green and over the bridge and up the narrow street 
to the southward ; St. Stephen's, with its gray stone 
walls and square belfry, was not then built, but in the 
later college days stood facing it at the lower end of the 

Not to be forgotten in any description of the village 
was Otter Creek, with the bridge across it, where the passer 
— however familiar with the scene — would be drawn as 
by a fascination to loiter, and watch the waters as they 
sped along and plunged down among the rocks, and to 
gaze at the dim rainbow above the waterfall, and listen 
to its ceaseless roar. 

In the Semi-Centennial Address of Dr. Post, already 
spoken of, special emphasis is laid on the attractions of 
the country about Middlebury in the college days, " chal- 
lenging the student to gymnastics under the open sky, 

2 2 TR I'M A A - . 1/. / R CEL L US POS T. 

to the resolute and manly climb, and bending his noble 
strength against the steep, or inviting to a morning 
ramble amid visions as of the Delectable Mountains, or 
sending him forth to saunter under more than the glories 
of the Italian sunsets, or summoning to distant excursions 
up awful heights that battle with the storm clouds for 
their homes. All these brace and tone the physical man 
and put the student on his mettle, while they quicken, 
ennoble, and refine the spiritual being, flooding it with 
the ideal and blending the aesthetics and imagery of 
nature with the structure and furniture of academic lore." 

A frequent makeshift among students who were com- 
pelled to earn their way through college was school teach- 
ing in the neighboring country districts. To favor the 
student in this undertaking, a seven weeks' vacation was 
given during the winter. And the fact that Master Post 
gave two or three months of each year of the college 
course to this calling, without the ordinary student's 
respite from work, among strangers, at a pittance of 
thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen dollars a month, and still 
maintained himself, finished his full course, and carried 
off the first prizes in a class of unusual talent, bears 
testimony, not only to the capacity, but to the self-denial 
and manly pluck and tireless industry that carried him 

During the first winter vacation he was teaching, as he 
writes his mother (January 28, 1826), in the north part 
of Williston, seven miles or thereabouts from Burlington. 

In the winter of 1826-27 he taught in the township of 
Shoreham, two miles or so west of the village and two or 
three miles from the lake. Captain Hand and the family 
had then removed to Ferrisburgh ; but the thoughts and 
footsteps of the young student still lingered about the 
old home. 


December 27, 1826, he writes to his mother : — 

..." My schoolhouse is situated near the graveyard in 
which my infant sister was buried. I frequently go there. 
I cannot distinguish the grave, but the circumstance that 
I am near it fills me with musings, which, although melan- 
choly, I love to indulge. 

" I can see the graves of many of the relatives that have 
been buried there whom I have never known. I lean on 
the tombstone and glance my eye over the places where 
I sported in my boyhood. Our old farm is plainly distin- 
guishable from the place. I can see the point of rocks 
where I fished, and the pastures where I, with Augustus, 
drove the cows. 

" Every day brings with it thoughts of home. I feel 
much anxiety respecting the welfare of my little brothers 
and Jane, not but that I know that they have parents to 
care for their well-being, but from the consideration that 
the whole course of their future life will be influenced, 
and their characters will be formed, by the principles 
which they now imbibe and the habits which they now 
acquire. I am extremely desirous of visiting home, and 
I think of the children at night upon my bed. But I do 
not think I shall be able to leave my school, and it is not 
probable that you will see me before next spring. Grand- 
father's health, when I left Cornwall, was very poor. I do 
not think that he will live long-." 

In December, 1827, Mr. Post was at Shoreham, proba- 
bly engaged with his country school. And a letter to Mr. 
Roberts, read by the latter during his memorial address, 
already mentioned, in its poetical coloring and its musing,* 
half-melancholy vein, shows the mental characteristics of 
that period and unmistakably the same stamp of thought 
that marked the writer in his later days : — 

" I am in an extreme quandary with what to begin my 


letter. If it were destined for thine own private indulgent 
eye alone, it would not be a matter of so much difficulty. 
But as undoubtedly after my decease every scrap of my 
writings will be collected and compiled, and given to the 
world as the remains of departed genius, it behooves me 
to avoid writing anything that may cast a shade upon 
my memory. ... I congratulate you on your bright 
visions and lofty aspirations. But oh, 't is hard to devote 
the warm spring of existence to the arduous and probably 
futile pursuit of this ignis fatuus ; to sacrifice our youth- 
ful pleasures and young affections to this mighty shadow, 
fame ; to forever chase a bauble that too often, like the 
fabled apples of the sea of death, molders to dry ashes in 
the grasp. Yet who for his life would give over the 
chase ? Hard as the struggle is, is it not still harder to 
think to lie down in the darksome house, ' by the cold 
world forgot,' to have our memories forever quenched in 
the silence of the grave ; a grave unvisited by aught save 
the cold beams of yon pale moon that streams its fitful 
light through the lattice ? Man shrinks from such a 
prospect, and vainly mocks himself with idle hopes and 
fantasies. . . 

"Hark! the clock strikes; 'tis the knell of 1827. 
Another year is numbered with the past eternity. It 
had its virtues and its vices, its follies and its crimes, 
its toils and its troubles, its love and its hatred, its joys 
and its sorrows. Many a languid eye has been kindled 
into rapture ; many a bright one has been shut for aye. 
Many hearts have been corrupted, many have been broken, 
many have forever forgotten to beat. Many have sinned, 
few are forgiven. Many have died, few are remembered, 
and fewer still are regretted. Where are all these ? They 
are to us as things beyond the flood. They have been, 
and is the world the better for them ? What influence has 


the past year had on the destinies of the human race ? 
What influence on our destinies ? What are we ? Where 
are we ? reeds driven along the tide of human time, 

' Which as it glides with ceaseless flow 
Retains each grief, retains each crime, 
Its earlier years are doomed to know.' 

" How seldom does man start into a consciousness of 
the eternity of his existence ! How few, while they view 
the dull pageantry of time, awake from its dreams and 
see themselves a part of immensity, a part of an endless 
chain of existence ! How few reflect that, like the clouds 
and sunbeams which have thrown their shades and glories 
over the eyes of former ages, but have 

' Left in yonder silent sky 
No vestige where they flew,' 

so they themselves may soon pass, and all that can be 
known, all that can be told, of them may be, ' Once there 
lived a man.' " 

The life of the schoolmaster in those days was not 
always a bed of roses. Sometimes in the rough country 
districts the pupils were too much for the teacher; and 
in one instance, possibly at the Williston School, two of 
them successively had been forced to succumb to open 
rebellion and resign. Perhaps in view of this fact and 
of the peculiar adaptation of young Post as an athlete, 
in addition to his other qualifications, he was selected 
to fill the vacancy. And, having been apprised of the 
state of affairs, as related by Dr. Hand, "he procured a 
number of ' oxgoads,' and oh his first entrance into the 
schoolroom placed them conspicuously before the scholars. 
But," writes the doctor, " it was not long before the 
rebellion presented itself in the form of an Amazonian 
girl who purposely made herself the subject of discipline. 


I forget the entire details, save that the girl and her 
equally big brother suddenly found themselves piled 
together upon the floor, and the boy in receipt of all 
the vengeance which the whips could impart. When the 
scene closed the two insurgents had escaped through the 
door and with them the last vestige of the school insub- 

In the spring of 1828, after consultation with the presi- 
dent and officers of the college, he taught in the Addison 
County Grammar School. And in the winter of 1828-29 
he had charge of the country district schoolhouse, which 
may still be seen on the hilltop, half a mile or so west of 
the Foote homestead and near the bridge which crosses 
the " Lemon Fair." 

In January, 1829, he writes his mother from this place : 

" Although I am in want of money badly enough, I can 
hardly help regretting, at times, having engaged myself in 
a school. I had anticipated much pleasure in vacation 
and hoped I might have been of service to the 

He is passing his time on the whole very pleasantly, 
utilizing most of the hours out of school in study, and 
"trying to learn to sing." 

His mind is already turning toward the uncertain future 
beyond Commencement day. "Where I shall go when 
I leave college, I know not. It hardly seems possible that 
college life is so nearly over. It has vanished like a 
shadow. And so I suppose you will tell me all my days 
will vanish." 

Of the college days little more than as above outlined 
remains to be said. The life was one of intense applica- 
tion, early in the morning and late in the night, and not 
merely with the studies of the curriculum, but with gen- 
eral reading in the best standard literature. His faculty 


in mastering the classics and mathematics was not more 
remarkable than his faculty of rapid reading and his 
power of absorbing and assimilating what he read. 

In the address of Mr. Roberts, above referred to, is a 
character sketch of his classmate, which, even down to the 
mention of bad penmanship and the orator's disregard for 
his own text, may be recognized by the friends of modern 
date : — 

" From the first to the last of his college life, Post was 
easily the leader of his class in all studies, and was the 
valedictorian at our graduation. His superiority was 
readily acknowledged by all his classmates, and that with- 
out jealousy or envy, for he bore his honors modestly, 
without ostentation or seeming consciousness of his 
superior claims ; and his class was a close-knit brother- 
hood of bright and generous youth, taking pride in each 
other. . . . 

" He found time in college for much reading outside the 
curriculum. He was attracted by the best in English 
literature, favoring the romantic and imaginative, espe- 
cially when it exhibited the art and graces of composition 
and style. He remembered well and was apt and ready 
in quotations of the choice and dainty things said or 
written in English speech. The later style of the 
preacher and essayist, in its gorgeousness, its Miltonic 
stateliness, its draping and rich phrasing, was native to 
him and was plainly marked in his college compositions. 
I was always his prompter at our college exhibitions, for I 
was almost the only one who would venture to decipher 
his then unreadable manuscript, nor could I always follow 
his tracks, for he was not himself accustomed to follow 
closely his own manuscript, but in the glow and ardor of 
the occasion words and phrases, ornamental and cumula- 
tive, would rush in and make themselves places to the 


confusion of his prompter, though often to the improve- 
ment of the original. 

" He loved from a boy to visit the old historic scenes 
where sentiment would be fed by association, as Ticon- 
deroga, Mount Vernon, etc. My first visit to the ruins of 
'Old Ti ' was made under his pilotage late in the winter 
of 1827-28, crossing Lake Cham plain from Larrabee's 
Point on the ice. He loved nature in all her moods. 

" His boyhood and youth strikingly indicate the man he 
was. The Rev. Dr. Post was plainly the boy Truman in 
his development — a change in degree, but not in essential 
elements. He was then, as in after life, pure and tender- 
hearted, sympathetic, averse to strife and wrangling, but 
steadfast in his moral convictions ; honest and honorable; 
a lover of the good, the heroic, the true, and the beautiful ; 
of a tropical fancy and rich poetic nature, which gushed 
forth spontaneously in an eloquence as graceful as it was 
daring in its flight." 

At last came round the coronal day, the Commencement 
day of August, 1829. 

An old file of The Vermont American of August 28, 
1829, spreads at full length the order of exercises, as of 
those before the " Philomathean " and "Beneficent" 
societies on the day previous. The paper chronicles, 
before the latter association, " An oration : The Moral 
Sublime. By T. M. Post ; " also, an award of prizes for 
declamation to H. B. McClure and R. F. Lawrence of the 
freshman class. 

On Wednesday were held the exercises of the gradu- 
ating class, at which fifteen orations were delivered on 
various subjects announced in the program. At the 
end was " An oration : The Claims of the Age on Lit- 
erary Men, with Valedictory Address. By T. M. Post, of 


The American remarks briefly that "the graduating 
class did much credit to themselves." 

Neither of the orations referred to in The American 
has been found. 

Mrs. H. B. Smith, then Hannah Bates, daughter of the 
president, writes of Mr. Post and the valedictory address : 
" I was present at his graduation (it was a great while 
ago), but I well remember his youthful, modest appear- 
ance, and the impression he made, not only on his class, 
but on the whole audience, when he repeated these 
lines : — 

There are tones that will haunt us, though lonely 

Our path be o'er mountain or sea ; 
There are looks that will pass from us only 
When memory ceases to be. 

There are hopes that our burden can lighten 

Though toilsome and steep be the way, 
And dreams that like moonlight can brighten 

With a light that is dearer than day. 

There are names that are cherished, though nameless 

For aye on the lip they may be ; 
There are hearts that though fettered are tameless 

And thoughts unexpressed but still free.'" 

The above verses may have been quoted, or, as Mrs. 
Smith conjectures, may have been original with the 

At the class reunion of 1879 tne scene of that Com- 
mencement day came up again through "the haze of 
half a century's memories": — 

"To some of us gathered here to-day from distant 
regions, or far-off years, and probably for the last time, 
come utterances, to which we cannot shut our ears, from 
the far-fled, ever-receding, beautiful land of youth ; from 
the day, then so grand, grandest we had ever seen, or 


perhaps were to see, when, our course finished, our 
diplomas proudly won, we came forth on the Commence- 
ment stage with the eyes of youth, beauty, and love — 
'the starlight of our boyhood' — shining on us, together 
with the approving smile of the wise and strong, the 
revered and the honored, auspicating our debut before the 
great world. How brave our representation ! How col- 
ored with the ideal the world into which we were in 
thought perhaps bringing the new epoch ! With fare- 
wells, full of love and hope, and some tears and fond 
promises of reunions, we parted and went out into the 
mystery of life. 

" Forgive us, friends, if we seem somewhat strange 
among you to-day ; if on this anniversary festival we 
appear almost as with sphinx faces, turned, with sad, 
steadfast look, to the land of the Nevermore. We see 
there what your eyes may not see, we hear voices you 
have never heard. Our diplomas are perhaps half dust, 
discolored with the fade and mold of time. The hands 
that gave them are long since dust, the eyes that shone 
on us so kindly, quenched long ago, the faces that beamed 
so benignly on us their approving smile, long since were 
reflected in the jasper sea." 



A year spent by Mr. Post at Castleton as principal of its Seminary, and 
tutorship of two years following in Middlebury. — Social life there. — 
The Henshaw household. — Visits to Norfolk, Conn., and to Homer, 
N. Y., at the time of his brother Martin's wedding. — Sickness well- 
nigh fatal in 1831. 

CASTLETON Seminary, in the picturesque village of 
that name and not many miles from Middlebury, 
recently celebrated its hundredth anniversary, and on its 
walls bore in evergreen characters the names of its former 
instructors; among them that of " T. M. Post," and, 
opposite, the figures "1830." 

During that year he was principal of the seminary, 
lodging for the most of the time at the house of Zimri 
Howe, with whom were also at the same time a number 
of teachers of an academy for young ladies in Castleton 

The letters of this period refer to these new-found 
acquaintances and the pleasure derived from their society : 
but they likewise show that the mind of the writer is 
much of the time back at Shoreham and among his 
kindred ; that he is often thinking of the old farm now 
tenanted by strangers ; of the family circle now broken, 
and of its loved members who have gone to other parts. 

He is thinking and caring about Augustus and Oliver 
and Jane, much after his former wont, as though still 
burdened with a special responsibility on their account. 
The same earnest, anxious forecast into the long future 
for those whom he loved, which marked his later manhood, 
is discernible far back in these years. 



In December, 1829, he is just back from Middlebury 
with rather homesick remembrances of his Alma Mater. 
In a letter of this date he writes, to classmate Roberts : 
" There were but few students at the college. It made 
me melancholy to traverse the deserted halls, and think 
that not one of the glorious class of 1829 was there. All 
were gone, each his own way over the earth. I at- 
tended church on the Sabbath: couldn't help looking 
in our old seat for the well-known faces of our class- 
mates, but they were scattered. Barber and myself alone 
were there to represent them. 

" College life with all its delightful scenes of fellowship 
and endearment, our frequent assemblings in that place, 
particularly the scenes of our last Sabbath there, and the 
hurry, the excitement, and the iclat of our Commence- 
ment, all passed over my mind like a melancholy dream. 
But I need not detail my musings. You know what your 
own would have been. But I assure you, among the 
scenes which fancy conjured up, not the least prominent 
or the least cherished were those associated with the 
name of 'Roberts.' Very many and pleasant hours have 
we passed together, and it is sad to think that they are 
over. But, Daniel, they shall not be forgot ; shall they ? 
Even in the wane of age they shall rise before the 
mind's eye, the greenest spots on memory's waste. Our 
friendship has never been interrupted from our first inter- 
view on the college green to the present hour, and I trust 
it never may be. True, the past in its fresh loveliness 
comes no more. But shall it not occasionally claim from 
us the tribute of a regret and a sigh ? " 

In the early spring following he is at Cornwall, enjoying 
a short release from the drudgery of school, among the 
friends in Addison County. 

In April he is back at Castleton. And in a letter to his 



mother he mentions the receipt of one from President 
Bates, offering him a tutorship in Micldlebury College. 
He writes : " I shall raise this year funds sufficient to 
carry me through the study of a profession. Moreover it 
will be pleasant to spend another year at home and espe- 
cially at Middlebury." 

In the fall of 1830 he took his first extended trip out 
into the world, passing through Shoreham and Albany, 
exploring New York, attending Commencement in New 
Haven, and visiting Norfolk on his return. 

In the same year came an urgent appeal from the 
faculty of Middlebury College, calling him to accept a 
position as tutor. And in response to this invitation the 
position in Castleton was resigned and that in Middlebury 
accepted, and as tutor he remained in Middlebury for the 
two years next following. 

Mr. Post, though greatly absorbed in his studies and 
college duties, had a relish for social life, and on his 
return to Middlebury was welcomed into a most delightful 
society. As tutor, he was brought into daily association 
with President Bates, and the engagement of his brother 
Aurelian to one of the daughters (who died years after- 
wards unmarried), and the pleasant circle of sisters in the 
household, made him a frequent visitor there. The tie 
which bound him to this family proved to be more than 
a passing college friendship. In 1833, at Marietta, Ohio, 
he found Hannah Bates, already spoken of, and then 
wife of Rev. Henry Smith, President of Lane Seminary; 
and he was the guest of Dr. Bates in Middlebury years 

Among the Middlebury friends of Mr. Post of that day, 
and long remembered, were Dr. William Bass and his 
daughters, whose sweet voices used to be heard in the 
church choir, and the family of Jonathan Hagar, more 

34 TR I'M A X M. I R t ■/■:/. L I 'S POS T. 

than one of whom were then quire famous for their 
beauty and social accomplishments. 

During the tutorship, Mr. Post taught a large Bible 
class ,of young ladies in the Congregational Sabbath- 
school ; and a very dear friend of subsequent years, then a 
pupil and inmate of Mrs. Cook's noted boarding school, in 
a recent letter gives her recollection of the young teacher. 

"To have a call from ' tutor ' Post, as we called him, or 
to meet him on a walk, was a pleasant theme for conver- 
sation for days afterwards. There was a fascination about 
him which was felt and acknowledged in the highest 
religious and literary circles, or in any walks, by those who 
were so happy as to know the magnetic, transforming 
power of his goodness, his refined nature, his constant 
aim and effort to make men happier by making them 

Among the acquaintances of tutor days was Philip 
Battell, Esq., the classmate of Martin Post, whose friend- 
ship ripened with subsequent years. In the fall of 1832 Mr. 
Post is visiting his home in Norfolk, Conn., and writes : — 

" I am weatherbound for the present, in this mountain 
town, by the dismal equinoctial ; and from the bustle and 
hurry of travel and visiting, my mind takes the chance 
to steal back to old Vermont a while and to inquire 
after the welfare of old friends. Not but that I am in 
a most pleasant haven — for never was found one more 
delightful, or better adapted to soothe the impatience of 
the delayed traveler. ... I had most sad, sad to me at 
least, leave-taking of some of my friends in Middlebury, 
but left — heart and hand free — and went with my 
brother Martin to Homer, N. Y., to attend his wedding." 

A household then well known in Middlebury was that 
of Madam Sarah Henshaw, widow of Daniel Henshaw 
who had come to that village in 1800 and who died in 


1825. The old family mansion, now burned and razed to 
the ground, then and for well on to a half century after- 
wards, stood on the rise of the hill, just back from the 
street whose bridge crosses Otter Creek, and within the 
rushing sound of its mill wheel and waterfall. The white 
frame cottage, with its low eaves and long sweep of 
pitched roof, and its front porch, peeping through vines 
and evergreens at the passer-by, was known as the " Hen- 
shaw homestead." And long after it had passed from its 
original ownership into the possession of strangers, to the 
older inhabitants it remained a familiar and picturesque 
reminder of the former days, and was full of departed 
footsteps and voices. 

Madam Henshaw was a lady of rare beauty. Her* 
presence was courtly and dignified, and her character of 
the noblest stamp of Christian womanhood. She was 
noted for her kindness and hospitality to the young men 
of the college, and her house was a favorite place of 
resort to all of them who had the good fortune to know 
her. During his senior year Mr. Post had been a frequent 
and welcome visitor. But at that time and during the 
year of 1829-31 most of the family of Madam Henshaw 
were scattered. Sarah (Mrs. Charles Richards) was living 
in Brooklyn. Julia, the wife of Rev. Jacob J. Robertson, 
was then with her husband in the mission field in Greece. 
Catharine, who had married Rev. Alfred Baury, was in 
Boston. John P. K. Henshaw, for many years rector of 
St. Peter's Church in Baltimore and subsequently bishop 
of Rhode Island, was away in his ministerial labors. 
Charles Henshaw was no longer at home. Eliza (Mrs. 
Piatt), and Margaret — afterwards wife of Rev. Chauncey 
Fitch, and Harriet — subsequently Mrs. H. B. McClure, 
were still in Middlebury. Frances was for a while at 
Mrs. Willard's school in Troy, N. Y. ; and most of the 


time from 1829 to 1831 was visiting her sister Emeline 
(Mrs. Daniel Whitney) in Green Bay, Wis., at that time a 
remote Indian outpost, whose principal society consisted 
of the garrison of Fort Howard and the friendly savages. 
During part of the college course Frances had been in 
Middlebury, but her acquaintance with the young student 
had been slight, and so remained till near the end of his 

The above names furnish a partial list of those whose 
lives were thrown into association with that here narrated 
during the tutor clays of 1830-32. Each of these names 
had its own story — some of them pleasant and romantic 
memories ; others were closely interwoven, not only with 
Middlebury life, but indelibly with the long future. 

The intellectual tone and stimulus of the college and 
the culture and charms of its society must have made the 
Middlebury of those days a rare world indeed. And it 
deserves a far more extended mention than can be given 
it in these pages. 

Mr. Post, in subsequent life, if practicable, made an 
annual visit to his relatives in Vermont, and never did so 
without pressing into the service some one of his cousins 
and with them making the social round of his kindred. 
That this habit was an old one appears from a letter written 
in the February vacation of 1832, in which he writes from 
Cornwall that he has been on a "cousining foray through 
this region." He says : " I have ridden and visited, and 
visited and ridden ; looked into law a little and into novels 
more, and, to crown all, have delighted, reformed, and 
illuminated the people of Orwell and Shoreham by a 
recitation of old speeches." 

Among the events of the tutor's life, one calling for 
special chronicle was a sickness — indeed his first serious 
illness and one which proved almost fatal — in the spring 
of 1831. 



He was then rooming, perhaps boarding, at the two- 
story frame house, just across the street from the Con- 
gregational church, now occupied by Smith Beckwith, 
Esq. The house then belonged to Mrs. Rebecca Miller, a 
widow lady widely known in the community for her 
benevolence and more especially for her kindness to the 
college students, one or two of whom were almost always 
inmates of her household. 

The disorder here referred to was a violent attack of 
lung fever ; and Mr. Post attributed his life to the un- 
wearied watching and nursing of Mrs. Miller and that 
of a niece of her husband, a maiden lady living in the 
same house. 

For two or three days he was thought to be dying ; the 
bells that tolled off the night hours in the clock spire 
opposite were stopped from ringing ; and during the crisis 
of this illness daily bulletins announcing his condition 
were posted at the door. 

While he was thus lingering on the coast line of 
mortality the verses of Shelley, written on the bay of 
Naples, kept chanting and weaving their spell through 
his half-conscious and worn-out spirit : — 
But now despair itself is mild ; 

Even as the winds and waters are. 
I could lie down like a tired child, 
And weep away this life of care, 
Which I have borne and still must bear, 
Till Death, like sleep, might steal on me; 

And I might feel in the warm air 
My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea 
Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony. 

Before this sickness Mr. Post had planned a trip to the 
Mediterranean ; and perhaps dreams of that far-away sea 
may have been a half-waking vision of the " solemn 
main " which borders the end of life's journey. 



Of this abandoned voyage and of the " terrible impres- 
sion " — then fresh upon him — of his sickness, he wrote 
to Mr. Roberts in a letter dated November 5, 1831 : — 

" After having written and rewritten upon the subject 
of going to the Mediteranean for a year or two, and having 
made arrangements in some measure for that purpose, I 
am yet here and have the prospect of remaining here for 
the present ; and what is more, am in good spirits, and 
what is more still, in comparatively very good health. The 
streams of life have, I hope, resumed in a measure their 
wonted course. The dream of death, that terrible dream 
which pressed for a while like an incubus upon my mem- 
ory, has receded until I begin to feel again reviving inter- 
ests and sympathies in the passing pageants of mortality 
and demean myself with something like assurance of life. 
But that dream still glooms horribly in the distance, still 
comes up in shuddering retrospect. I know it must come 
again; that the hour of its terrible reality must come — 
that my reprieve at the longest is short — that what I 
or you or all have to do must be done quickly. It must 
be terrible for any one in the flush of youth and health 
and hope to be cut off from the bright throng of the 
living, but doubly terrible for one who suffers that hour 
to come upon him like a ' thief in the night.' 

" Would not men be wiser, be better, be happier, had 
they courage to look in the face the terrors of that 
hour, to familiarize themselves with them, and to prepare 
to meet them not as trembling cowards? True, one feels 
cold about the heart to think that its deep beatings, its 
hopes and desires shall soon be hushed in ' cold obstruc- 
tion,' and that all it loves and admires shall be but fester- 
ing corruption. But is it the part of a brave man to 
quail from any terror, however grisly, which he cannot 
shun or avert ? Is it not folly, yea, worse than folly, to 


cling, to the disregard of its immortality, to a world 
whose glories are a lie, whose promise is a mockery, 
whose sweets are the aspic, but whose disappointments 
are the stings of scorpions? What 'beggarly elements' 
these to a glorious hope of a blessed immortality ! Yea, 
should we not rather than blench from death, exult to die, 
to live forever, to fling off the cerements of corruption 
and arise to newness of life, forever exempt from the 
thraldom of sense, the fever of passion, and the thirst of 
unslaked desire ? " 

This sickness seemed almost like Byron's " fatal remem- 
brance," that threw " its bleak shade alike o'er the joys 
and the woes" of after life. 

"From that hour," he says, in the "Life Story" (an 
address delivered in 1877 before the Congregational State 
Association of Missouri, and from which frequent extracts 
will be made in these pages), " the shadowiness of time 
and the sense of eternity were wrought into the soul 
forever. In those terrible hours, when — Faith and Hope 
not yet grown to strength and confidence — the awful cur- 
tain was lifted, and, through days and nights which seemed 
ages, I looked with the vividness of Dante's vision into the 
open secret of the hereafter, — a hereafter through which 
I had not yet learned to walk with the Son of God, — that 
revelation was to the new life with me like Dante's initia- 
tion to the walks of Paradise through infernal and pur- 
gatorial gloom and flame. Then was the shadow of the 
everlasting cast over the field of the present world, and 
the heart -beat of time set forever to the pulses of eternity. 
Of those who stood around me to see me die — most of 
them long since passed away — not a face now wears 
the light of the sun. But the revelations of those hours 
are fresh as yesterday. They are burned into my being 
forever : part of my ever-present consciousness till that 


hour shall come again and that curtain is lifted never 
more to fall. I now recognize it as then lifted as a 
necessity in order to break the inordinate power of the 
present world over my youth." 



Andover Seminary and theology. — Winter of 1832-33 in Washington. — 
Recollections of Marshall, Story, Wirt, Taney, Clay, and Webster; also, 
of Governor Duncan, of Jacksonville, Illinois. — Journey west in spring 
of 1833, through the Alleghanies down the Ohio, up to St. Louis and 
thence to Jacksonville. — That village in 1833. — Home of Governor 
Duncan. — Judge Lockwood and his family. — Stephen A. Douglas. — 
General Hardin and his wife, afterwards Mrs. Walworth. — Appoint- 
ment to professorship in Illinois College. 

THE fall of 1832 opens a new epoch in this narrative. 
Previous to his illness, in 183 1, Mr. Post had been 
studying law, but this event turned his mind into another 
channel, and he became deeply occupied with themes of 

He considered the question of making a public profes- 
sion and uniting with the church. "But," he says, in the 
"Life Story" already referred to, "I found myself fenced 
out of communions, which I thought its genuine repre- 
sentatives, by creeds, requiring, as conditions of mem- 
bership, categorical statements of belief on doctrines 
which seemed to me speculative, and on which I had not 
positive belief nor grounds for any ; and I felt it became 
me to be honest, if in any matter in the universe, in 
that of publicly and formally confessing Christ. Whether 
right or wrong in the ground I took, my embarrassment 
in this matter I feel was not without divine permission 
and intent. It certainly became an important element in 
my subsequent history, and wrought itself into all its 
texture, a leading and guiding thread. It was the key to 
most of my subsequent career. It deflected the course of 



ray life and shaped its directions for years; and existed, 
I think, as the primal cause of my coming west." 

In the hope of removing these difficulties, and also, as 

it would seem, with some idea of studying for the minis- 
try, he went to Andover in the autumn of 1832 ; and he 
writes: " I spent some months in that delightful seclusion 
in the study of sacred literature — months which, brief 
as they were, and without accomplishing their immediate 
object, are remembered as among the most pleasant and 
profitable of life, and those most powerful in influence on 
future thought and culture." 

But he found that he could get no relief such as he 
had sought from his theological perplexities, and so left 
over; and, "seemingly shut up to the profession of 
the law," and in order to aid his education in this direc- 
tion by listening to the arguments in the Supreme Court, 
as also to hear the debates in Congress among the famous 
statesmen of that day, he went at the close of 1832 to 
Washington and there spent the winter. 

His uncle, Reuben Post, afterward for many years 
pastor of the "Circular" (Congregational) Church of 
Charleston, S. C, was then living in Washington in charge 
of a Presbyterian church of that city, and was also chap- 
lain of the United States Senate. 

In the absence of their natural guardian he had 
rendered great kindness to the children of his brother 
Martin ; kindness not merely in the way of counsel 
but of material assistance rendered to the two older 
nephews. And at his home Truman doubtless passed 
much of his time — if, indeed, he were not an inmate 
there — while in Washington. 

During the winter, he says : " I was permitted to behold 
the close of the old regime of men and ideas of the age 
following the Revolution, and to be present amid the 


contests of the elder and younger Titans of political 
debate, in their struggle over constitutional questions 
which were to convulse the country through an era of 
agitation that was to close only with the arbitrament of 
civil arms. The simple majesty of Marshall was still 
upon the bench, and beside him the rich legal and classic 
lore of Story. The eloquence of Wirt, exuberant and 
prodigal of beauty; the pure diction and lucid logic of 
Jones, and the cold, impassive legal argument of Taney 
were still heard at the bar of the Supreme Court ; where 
also figured the second Adams, the dashing and brilliant 
Clay, the massive and majestic Webster, and others whose 
chief field of arms was in the congressional chambers 
above, where the subtle dialectics of Calhoun, the stal- 
wart force of Benton, and the eloquence of Rives, Bur- 
gess, McDuffie, and many others were contesting with 
them the prizes of oratory and partisan leadership. An- 
drew Jackson was in the chair of state. The times were 
critical and lowering with war storm, the issues vast, the 
passion and strife colossal and profound. It was the 
battle of giants over the life principles of our govern- 
ment and civilization. The months at Washington that 
placed me in immediate view of this spectacle I regard as 
among the most important and productive of my life. 
Their imprint, their lessons and prophecy ever remained 
with me. It has seemed to me I was led to Washington 
in that crisis of our national history that I might feel the 
pulse and pressure of the times, as I could not otherwise, 
and be placed en rapport with its central movement and 

The stay of Mr. Post in Washington during this winter 
of 1832-33 possesses interest, aside from the experiences 
here related, from the fact that through an accidental 
meeting the question of his future home and career in 
life was then determined. 


During this winter in Washington he met General 
(afterwards Governor) Joseph Duncan, of Illinois, at 
that time a member of Congress, and honored as the 
youthful hero of Fort Crogan, and was urged by him to 
come to the " magnificent virgin fields of the west, and 
especially to that grand and mysterious land of promise, 
Illinois ; *' and it was largely in consequence of this 
invitation that Mr. Post made his journey west in the 
following spring. 

Of this trip the reader is furnished with an account 
made up somewhat indiscriminately from the " Life Story," 
already mentioned, and from unpublished mss. endorsed 
"Reminiscences Autobiographic" — of which latter it 
should be said here, that they were prepared in compli- 
ance with often expressed wishes of the writer's children, 
and simply for their gratification, and without any view 
of publication. 

Turning away from Richmond, Va., where inducements 
had been held out bv Senator Rives to enter his law office, 
Mr. Post traveled by railroad cars drawn by mules to 
Hagerstown ; and then by stage over the Alleghanies to 

" When descending the western slope of the mountain," 
he says in the mss., " I felt as in another world. The 
old life, the former world, with all its hope and love and 
ambition and passion, had passed away. I seemed divided 
from it, as if by a gulf separating time from eternity. 

■• All I had loved, hoped, pursued, and achieved seemed 
vanishing amid the forever past. The distance was such, 
and the conditions and exposures of travel were such, that 
I could expect to return but few times in my life, and 
then to find that the places which had known me knew 
me no more. What loves and hopes and faces, noble, 
sweet, beautiful, and loving were fading away forever ! 


Never, except in that dread hour which severs time from 
eternity, can any farewell affect me more." 

In the "Life Story" he says : "I descended the Ohio 
by steamboat from Pittsburgh, stopping briefly at Marietta, 
where were already laid the foundations of its promising 
college, under the presidency of Dr. Henry Smith, now of 
Lane Seminary, widely known and honored for erudition 
and eloquence in the lecture room and in the pulpit. 
Pausing a few days at Cincinnati, I formed the acquaint- 
ance of Salmon P. Chase, then a young lawyer, in the 
beginning of his career, afterwards Chief Justice of the 
United States Supreme Court ; also, that of Dr. Lyman 
Beecher, whose wise treatment of my religious difficulties 
was of great service to me afterwards. His daughter 
(Mrs. Stowe), then in early girlhood, was engaged there 
with her sister Catherine in an educational enterprise, 
little dreaming then of Uncle Tom's Cabin and subse- 
quent literary celebrity. Others of the same family were 
there also, giving little sign of the eventful histories of 
the future. . . . 

" From Cincinnati, taking boat with General Harrison — 
then in his prime — and his son, with the wild refrain of 
the colored boatmen ringing along shores frowning with 
primeval forests or escarped with cliffs pierced with caves 
still haunted with fresh legends of brigands, I passed, 
with a week's voyage, down the Ohio and up the Missis- 
sippi, to my first vision of St. Louis, then a French 
village of some 6,000 or 7,000 inhabitants, hanging on the 
edge of a green bluff. It seemed to me the end of the 
world — the 'jum ping-off place.' I so characterized it in 
letters written from it on my arrival. Third Street was 
then a bold push westward. Fourth Street was quite out 
of town." 

"Along its course, then a footpath," he writes in the 


mss., "through the thick grass, I scared up the wild 
prairie-hen — when indeed they were not too little famil- 
iar to fly at man's presence — or startled the waterfowl, 
amid the numerous ponds that occupied what is now the 
densest part of the city, in the region of Fifth and Sixth 
Streets. Along this path for about a mile through the 
green waste I walked to the mound that has given the 
name of ' Mound City ' to St. Louis. From its top my 
visimi was of a new, virgin, and for the most part wild 
and solitary world; no sound of steamer on the waters, 
save here and there a solitary puff, like the initial pulse 
of a new world waking to life. The skies were pure, 
smokeless, to the distant horizon, save where the little 
village below the river bluffs sent up here and there its 
curl of blue smoke. Between me and the Pacific lay a 
dark continent, where, amid the lone and mighty stretches 
of meadow and forest and mountain, roamed hordes of 
wandering savages and the wild creatures of nature." 

In St. Louis he found good people already at work 
"laying in difficulties the foundations of future insti- 
tutions. . . . Salmon Giddings had already taught and 
preached here from 1817, through some half a score of 
years, and, himself a Congregational minister, out of 
materials largely Congregational, had, according to the 
usage and supposed requirements of the times, founded a 
Presbyterian church. Dr. Potts had been here, but was 
nt for the time in the enterprise of the Marion 
College. . . . 

" Here I found, also, to my great joy, my college class- 
mate, Rev. Edwin F. Hatfield, years since made the 
stated clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church, who was then starting what since has become 
.the Second Presbyterian Church of St. Louis ; and here 
I spent a few days, chiefly among the members of the 
legal profession, a number of whom — some already emi- 


nent, and, through several decades following, leaders of 
the bar in St. Louis and Missouri, such as Bates, Geyer, 
and Gamble — I have had reason pleasantly to reckon 
among my lifelong friends." 

Having come so far, Mr. Post felt that before finally 
settling in St. Louis he must visit his friend, General 
Duncan, " and look upon the new empire arising with 
imperial promise and natural resources in Illinois ; " and 
so, arranging to return and enter the office of Hamilton 
Gamble, and leaving his trunk behind, he was carried by 
his classmate, Hatfield, to St. Charles, at that time nearly 
a peer of St. Louis ; and spending the night there he set 
out the next morning for Jacksonville, some hundred miles 
distant, walking across the tongue of land between the 
Missouri and Mississippi rivers to the ferry opposite Graf- 
ton, III, walking from Grafton to Carrollton, thirty or 
forty miles further, by a bridle path through the wilds. 

" Never shall I forget," he says, in the " Life Story," 
" my first vision and impression of the prairie that morn- 
ing ; the vast, silent green waste, houseless, manless, the 
red man gone, the white man not yet entered ; the ocean- 
like expanse, now a level plain, now rippling into verdant 
wavelets, now with a vast sea roll of gradual rise and fall, 
occasionally billowing into bluffs that bordered the rivers 
and the water courses with long stretches and curvature 
of forest flecked and embroidered with the redbud and 
the haw ; the grassy desert, studded here and there with 
oases of the oak, maple, walnut, and pecan, fringed with 
the sassafras, the persimmon, and the sumach ; and occa- 
sional islets of the wild plum, cherry, and apple scattered 
through the sea of verdure and with their fragrance 
hitting the sense from afar ; amid which the plumage of 
the paroquet glistened and the thrush and the mocking 
bird burst into song — it seemed to me a fairy landscape. 


I seemed as wandering in a Magian realm, under a mighty 
Solitude that bent entranced over a vision of new, strange, 
infinite beauty. The Genius of Morning seemed on all 
things; it was the morning of the day, of the land, and 
of my own life. It was Youth's walk amid the fields of 


•• But the day waxed on, and as I followed the bridle 
trail or the points of the compass, through grassy and 
forested wilds and up and down the acclivities and descents 
of the water courses, the sun grew fierce in his rays, and 
I grew weary and foot-sore. I remember, as I sat down 
beside a grassy brook and thrust my bruised and fevered 
feet into its waters, I suddenly seemed to come to myself; 
I started to consciousness of myself and my situation, and 
seemed to hear a voice. ' What doest thou here ? ' Far 
away from home and friends and all I had known or loved 
on earth, in the morning of my youth, I seemed drifting, 
a lone waif on the great tidal stream of nations, a single 
lost drop in it, into the vast mysterious West — and then 
onward — whither ? But a hand above was beckoning 
onward. Suddenly, as I sat thus self-musing, two large 
water snakes came swimming along by me, so carelessly 
and quietly that it seemed they were yet too unfamiliar 
with man to recognize him for a foe. I was out in the 
wilds of nature, almost beyond the shadow of the domin- 
ion and fear of my race over the animal world. 

" As the day waned, a thunderstorm sprang out of the 
torrid sky, and caught me ' far out at sea ' on the treeless 
waste of prairie. Its coming seemed like the march of 
God from Mount Paran — so fearful was the roll of his 
chariot-wheel over that floor of the world, and ' burning 
coals went forth at his feet.' But it passed, and his glory 
was on the bow of peace that hung on the retreating 
cloud ; and as the spring thrilled with fresh and grateful 
pulse all things, 'the whole earth was full of his praise.' 


" Refreshed, though drenched and weary, I found shel- 
ter in a cabin, in which, by fragmentary memorials of 
previous surroundings of luxury, it appeared that a Broad- 
way merchant had found in these lone wilds refuge from 
the wreck of his fortunes on the shores of the distant 

" Striking the stage road next morning at Carrollton, 
where a stage passed once a week from St. Louis, I rode 
to Jacksonville." 

When Mr. Post first saw that town it was hardly a 
decade since the axe of Isaac Roe, the first settler, had 
begun to ring in the woods of Diamond Grove. 

Of Jacksonville at that time say the mss. : " I found 
it a huddle of log cabins clustered around a public square, 
where was a rude courthouse in a rectangle of mud 
and dirt. The village contained about 3,000 inhabitants 
crowded into these cabins, where each apartment, often 
quite narrow, had frequently to suffice for the accom- 
modation of an entire separate household. This crowded 
condition of the settlement was due to the fact that 
it was an extreme outpost towards the wilderness of 
the northwest ; and many came here with no idea of 
permanent stay, but as a place for outlook for a future 
home still further on in the wilds. They were here as in 
a sort of caravansery for a temporary sojourn. 

" From the college, then just built, the landscape, which- 
ever way you looked, was for the most part a green wild, 
full of unique natural richness and beauty — verdant 
lawns sloping away to the distant forests or with grassy 
perspective meeting the sky on the far-off horizon, flecked 
here and there with oases of flowery shrubs or trees, 
voiced and hued with birds of strange richness of note or 
plumage, from the humming bird to the mocking bird. It 
was a scene of strange enchantment to eyes that had been 


accustomed hitherto to the stern and somber scenery of 
New England. 

•A little way from the small cluster of log cabins was 
a waste and silent world. It seemed like a land strangely 
divested of its inhabitants and momently expecting their 
return. . . . 

" I entered Jacksonville on Saturday. That day was a 
sort of Roman Nundinal, or general weekly holiday, to the 
people — a day of general rendezvous at the county seat 
or around some central place for various miscellaneous 
public purposes, political, social, commercial ; for trading, 
horse racing, carousing, gambling, and fighting of all 
kinds ; and especially for public discussion and election- 
eering addresses. . . . 

" On my arrival I soon found my way to the house of 
General Duncan, about a mile west of town on College 
Hill. I recollect my kind reception there, my finding 
General Duncan and his wife outside under the trees in 
front with a long dining table spread, and a large number 
of hard-looking rough men and politicians gathered from 
the district to dine with the general, and seeing his little, 
delicate wife, recently imported from a refined and luxu- 
rious home in New York, rising and invoking the divine 
blessing on the repast ; an act which in such surroundings 
seemed to me, for its devotion to principle and conscience, 
to approach the moral heroic. It won my respect and 
admiration for her as a Christian lady forever afterwards. 
I recollect my first night at this house, where I occupied 
a bed in the vestibule of what was little more than a 
hastily erected shanty, and, by the position of my couch 
on the floor at the door, prevented all ingress or egress 
during night. I domesticated the next day temporarily 
with Mr. James G. Edwards (then publisher of a Jack- 
sonville newspaper), and in the house and with the family 


of Judge Samuel D. Lockwood and his noble, lovely, 
queenly, Christian wife. The house had been temporarily 
leased to Mr. Edwards, and Judge Lockwood and his 
family were boarding with them ; and with the inmates I 
formed new and delightful acquaintances which were a joy 
and help to me in my after years, and are among the 
pleasantest memories of my life. This was my first 
introduction to that home which afterwards was to be- 
come my own for fourteen years, the birthplace of all 
my children save one, and to me one of the sweetest 
and most sacred spots on earth. 

" I remember my pleasant introduction to the society of 
the town and especially the legal fraternity ; the first party 
I attended directly after my arrival, where I met eight 
ladies and forty-seven gentlemen, among whom were those 
destined afterwards to wide public celebrity, social or 
political, and some whose names have become of national 
historic interest. One of the guests, a little, dapper 
young man, brought to me a picture of the Acropolis as 
something rare amid our surroundings in that far land. 
The man afterwards known to the country as Stephen 
Douglas was then engaged in teaching a common school. 
Another, a rather crude and roughly dressed young Ken- 
tucky lawyer, was afterwards known as the chivalric 
General Hardin, who fell in victory on the field of Buena 
Vista. One of the ladies present was his brilliant young 
wife, a dashing Kentucky belle, afterwards known to the 
country as Mrs. Chancellor Walworth, and mother of the 
beautiful Nellie Hardin — afterwards Mrs. Mansfield 
Walworth, whose husband and son are the figures in the 
awful Walworth tragedy of 1873, at the Fifth Avenue 

" Jacksonville was then a new world, socially embryonic, 
genetic, in a period demiurgic, constantly engaged with 



primordial problems which required dealing with and 
handling, reexamining and testing first principles, philo- 
sophic and organic, social, political, institutional, educa- 
tional, and religious. The stimulus imparted to those thus 
engaged was intense and profound. Most of us, also, 
were in life's morning, with an indefinite kaleidoscopic 
future through the vague glittering scenery of a world yet 
in genesis and magnificent mystery and therefore highly 
idealized. The excitement and activity of enterprise and 
.speculation were universal ; I felt most intently and deeply 
the impress of this genetic genius of a new world. It 
was an educational tonic and impulse worth many years at 
the university." 

During the winter at Washington and the tour through 
St. Louis the career contemplated, if not mapped out, by 
Mr. Post was, as already indicated in these pages, not that 
of preaching; not, save as a temporary resource, that of 
teaching, but the calling of his father, that of the bar. 
Richmond had been looked to as a possible field, St. Louis 
as a probable one. And accordingly we find in the olo- 
graph of Judge Lockwood, who was at that time one of 
the judges of the supreme court of Illinois, a certificate 
dated June, 1833, admitting "Truman M. Post to practice 
law as an attorney and counselor in all the courts of law 
and equity in the state of Illinois." 

To this fact and also to the fact that he was then board- 
ing with Judge Lockwood, Mr. Post refers in a letter to 
his mother dated June I, 1833, recounting his trip west 
and settlement at Jacksonville. 

The anticipation of a lawyer's career was, however, and 
by what seemed then the merest chance, never realized. 

On March 20, 1833, as appears from the college records, 
" T. M. Post was, after conference with President Edward 
Beecher and Rev. Theron Baldwin, appointed professor of 


ancient languages in Illinois College." And not far from 
this time he was made also professor of ancient history, 
and in both professorships he continued till 1847. 

As to these appointments, and how they came to be 
offered and accepted, we quote from the mss. : — 

" I remember one day soon after my arrival in Jackson- 
ville a call from Rev. Edward Beecher (to whom my uncle 
at Washington had, I think, given me letters) and Rev. 
J. M. Sturtevant, who were teachers in the college just 
opened, and whose names the west and the whole country 
have since learned to honor. They inquired if I would 
for a little while aid them in the classical department in 
the new college, as they were at that time in need of a 
teacher, and had learned that I had been engaged in 
teaching at Middlebury College. The proposition struck 
me favorably, attractively. My sphere of life was, I felt, 
yet unfixed ; my determination of thought and action 
between educational, political, clerical, literary, and legal 
pursuits was as yet unsettled. 'The world was all 
before me where to choose,' and so I consented to the 
proposition made me, as a temporary arrangement, one 
furnishing meantime a point of lookout and a ' coigne of 
vantage ' for a wider survey and more deliberate selection. 

" Some two weeks or so afterwards, Rev. Asa Turner, 
one of the founders and trustees of the college, who had 
been east in quest of a classical teacher, and in that 
pursuit had visited Middlebury College, had been advised 
by President Bates to look me up and confer with me. 
He had accordingly gone on to Andover, and, not finding 
me there, but learning that I had gone to Washington 
and thence had disappeared from the knowledge of my 
friends somewhere in the south or southwest, had aban- 
doned the pursuit ; and on returning to Jacksonville he 
found me on the ground. 



"Soon afterwards I was offered the chair of ancient 
languages in the college, and after some hesitation was 
induced to accept it with the understanding that it was 
the established plan of the college to build houses for the 
professors and pay a salary of $1,000 per annum, though 
both features of the plan might wait a little for a maturer 
state of things before they could be fully realized. 

"The pulse of life beat high at this point of my history. 
I was all the while in a sort of wonderland in both the 
inner and outer world. A strange glamour of wondrous 
glory and beauty seemed to rest upon both. The future 
of myself, like that of the land around me, was glittering 
with ideal possibility and promise. Under such augury 
and ideal my new career opened, and I started on it. . . . 

•• Life has but one such start and such vision, as it has 
but one youth." 



Early days in Jacksonville. — Illinois College in 1833. — " Cholera year." — 
Northern trip and Indian Treaty in Chicago. — Dangerous illness in 
Jacksonville and religious experiences. 

IN the year 1829, under a philanthropic scheme entered 
into on behalf of Yale College, a number of her 
graduates, known afterward as the " Yale Band," came 
to Jacksonville and incorporated Illinois College ; and 
when Mr. Post became professor the history of the 
institution dated back but four years to its academic 

In this year, 1833, its faculty were Edward Beecher, 
Theron Baldwin, Julian M. Sturtevant, Jonathan B. Turner, 
Truman M. Post, and Nathaniel Coffin. Mr. Beecher was 
president, Mr. Coffin was treasurer, and the remainder 
of those named were professors. Dr. Samuel Adams, a 
graduate of Bowdoin and for many years an intimate and 
beloved associate of Mr. Post, dated his connection with 
the college somewhat later. 

The dormitory, then just completed, and burned twenty 
years afterwards, — a very plain brick building of four 
stories, and flanked by wings designed as homes for its 
officers, — stood on the brow of the hill at the edge of 
a grove and looked eastward with unobstructed prospect 
over its own ample grounds and across a stretch of 
prairie to the little settlement a mile distant. 

Another brick structure of lesser dimensions, hardly a 
stone's cast to the west, was the chapel, which still remains 
very much the same, to outward seeming, as it looked in 



[833. Here the old bell from its perch on the roof called 
the students to prayer and recitation, and here, just under 
the roof and within its dormer windows, was the college 

In the northern wing of the dormitory lived President 
her with his family, and the southern wing was the 
home of Professor (afterward President) Sturtevant. 

The middle building furnished quarters for the students 
and some of the faculty and tutors, and in the basement 
was a long room used after ancient custom for college 
"commons." There Mr. Crocker and his wife provided 
a table, not only for the students, but for some of the 
professors and their families. 

In the southern room of the second story of the college 
Mr. Post and Professor Turner — the latter then fresh 
from Vale and from his home in Massachusetts — kept 
their bachelors' apartment from 1833 to 1835. 

The students, numbering a hundred or more, were 
gathered largely from the region around, and, like the 
country of that day, were a good deal " in the rough," 
but in many instances developed afterwards into men of 
prominence and wide influence for good. "The first lad 
I taught," say the mss., "then sixteen or seventeen years 
of age, who, with one other student, constituted the 
first class that graduated, was Richard Yates, afterwards 
known as the grand war governor of Illinois, a modest, 
bright, amiable, great-souled youth, with a lofty ideal and 
ambitious aspirations, which grew afterwards to a noble 
manhood and large, heroic statesmanship. Others also 
were there who have since climbed to heights of respon- 
sibility, power and peril in public service and the history 
of the country." 

To this day, among those old enough to remember 


Jacksonville so far back, the year 1833 has a ghastly 
preeminence as " cholera year." 

'•' Reports came up from the village to our college 
commons each morning of new cases and startling deaths. 
Sometimes whole families, as in the case of Rev. Mr. 
Ellis, were swept off in twenty-four hours. The distress 
of the town was extreme. Society was not then knit 
together by acquaintance and mutual kindness. The 
people, gathered from all quarters, had not coalescence 
enough for mutual helpfulness. The wild, vague terror 
of a disease, regarded as contagious and killing with fear- 
ful rapidity, kept men aloof from each other. Families 
were isolated in mutual quarantine, and doors and win- 
dows were seen by one passing along the streets, thronged 
with pale and fearful faces, sometimes with the sick, who 
had no one to minister a cup of cold water. But even there 
were to be found some benevolent and heroic spirits ready 
to brave personal danger at the call of humanity and to 
whom the present distress was occasion and opportunity 
to assert their nobility of nature. Frightful rumors, mean- 
time, came in from the lonely cabins in regions round 
about of desolate suffering and dying, of the dead un- 
buried, or of little children sometimes left to dig the 
graves and bury as they could their dead parents. Human 
society seemed almost disintegrated by mutual fear, and 
at length the college was broken up for the time and the 
students dispersed." 

Among those who devoted themselves to these missions 
of mercy through the country about Jacksonville were 
the two young professors. Having become pretty well 
worn out with Samaritan labors, and by reason of the 
hegira mentioned having an enforced vacation, they took 
this occasion for recreation, and on horseback and in 
company with tutor Erastus Colton made a tour through 


Northern Illinois, with Chicago and its convention of 
Indians as objective points. 

The journey lay (say the MSS.) "for three, or four hun- 
dred miles for the most part through a manless wilder- 
ness, a vast sweep of grassy plains intersected at intervals 
h\ river or water courses lined with belts of forest and 
interspersed with isolated oases or islands of woodland. 
It was the year after the Black Hawk war, occasional 
traces of which we passed in our journey. But with the 
ption of a lone cabin here and there, nestling in these 
belts beside the water courses or oases crowning some 
upland, it was one mighty solitude. 

" Our route took us first across the Illinois River at 
Naples, and I shall never forget the beauty and magnifi- 
cence of the river valley that burst upon our view as we 
stood upon the heights of the overlooking bluffs. It was 
one vast swale of meadow, waving with long grasses or 
carpeted with the gorgeous yellow of the flora of mid- 
summer or early autumn. 

" Naples was then chiefly a ferry and a steam mill, whose 
proprietor, Michael Collins, received us very courteously 
and hospitably. From Naples we went some fifty or sixty 
miles across what was called from allotments made to 
soldiers the ' Military Tract,' and after many wanderings, 
and after repeatedly losing our way, we at length dis- 
covered the small beginnings of what is now the beautiful 
city of Ouincy, then consisting of some scattered humble 
tenements on the banks of the river. Here we found 
intelligent, estimable, and hospitable Christian people, 
some of whose names, such as Tilson and Turner, were 
already known to us, and who became friends much valued 
and loved in the years after. 

" From Ouincy we rode northeast some fifteen miles or 
so, to what was then called the Bear Creek settlement, near 


the present Mendon, and spent a pleasant Sabbath with 
Deacon Chittenden, an agreeable and intelligent Christian 
gentleman, who had brought his New England principles 
and practice with him into the wilds. His name and 
works abide with many estimable descendants at this time. 
Thence we rode to Princeton, as early as that period the 
home of the Lovejoys, a new settlement near the deflec- 
tion of the Illinois from its western to its southern course. 

" From Princeton we went eastward to Ottawa, at that 
time, as far as I recall, consisting of a single house, a 
hotel (Walker's) on the south side of the Illinois, nearly 
opposite the mouth of the Fox. 

" From thence we proceeded to Chicago, passing one 
house in 'Holderman's Grove,' and not coming across any 
other as far as I can recollect, and following the latter part 
of the way in the trail of the Indians ; sleeping some of 
the nights under skies lighted by the bivouac fires ; some 
mornings awaking with puddles of water, formed by 
thunder showers during the night close by on the ground, 
thus laying the foundations for the fever that followed in 
the autumn. 

"We entered Chicago by the trail of the Indians 
through the long grass of the prairie, for the most part 
of the year a marsh, but then dry. 

" Fort Dearborn had a small garrison, and was the depot 
of government stores of various kinds for the Indians, of 
whom some 7,000, embracing extensively the tribes of the 
northwest, had rendezvoused here for a treaty. The 
place presented, besides the fort and its garrison, a small 
number of newly erected houses, principally cabins or 
shanties hurriedly put together, and wigwams or lodges 
of the Indians of the different tribes scattered about 
in the neighborhood. 

" The germ of the town had already been laid off and 


platted on the south side of the river, and I felt so assured 
of its future growth to considerable importance that I 
based a large part of one side of the public square, 
where now the courthouse stands, for S200, with which 
sum, indeed, I could have bought ioo acres of land on 
what is now the central part of the present city of Chi- 
• ; but we concluded on deliberation that the land was 
too marshy to pay taxes, which might be levied on it. 

•• I entered Chicago through a lodge of Indians, and 
saw more of the Indian life and dress and manners while 
at Chicago on this visit than ever elsewhere, and more 
than perhaps I could have seen in the years since, aggre- 
gated at one spot. Many of the squaws — the wives or 
daughters of chiefs — were there richly dressed and orna- 
mented, their persons or garments loaded with brooches 
of silver; but on going for rations to the fort, the 'big 
Indian ' was manifested, riding proudly on his pony and 
followed by his squaw trudging along on foot, loaded with 
the meats and provisions doled out to them. 

" At the treaty, which was held on the side of the 
river, where afterwards the Lake House was built, a struct- 
ure of rough boards had been hastily erected, resembling 
such as are seen at circuses. There were present on the 
part of the Indians about 500 chiefs and braves from the 
tribes of the northwest, with their varieties of costume 
and dialect, and on the part of the government the lieu- 
tenant-governor of the territory of Michigan, his suite, 
interpreters, etc. The session continued for nearly the 
entire day, and was to me a most memorable scene, and 
one never to be repeated, and one of lasting consequence 
in the history and destinies of the northwest. 

" I had entered Chicago with what I now know to have 
been seeds and premonitions of malarial disease con- 
tracted on the Illinois prairies. The tonic breezes and 


atmosphere of Lake Michigan alleviated or temporarily 
suspended these, but on returning with the same sort of 
exposure to sun and rain and night air, now growing 
autumnal, and with life entirely irregular in all its appoint- 
ments, the diseased tendency set in again, and before we 
reached Jacksonville I became so ill that I was compelled 
to ride with my horse at the top of his speed across the 
hot stretches of prairie, and then to throw myself, sick 
and exhausted, on the ground and await the late arrival of 
my companions. My sickness was what is now termed 
typhoid malaria. It was protracted through some six 
weeks — a low, insidious, obstinate type of fever. It 
made a pivotal epoch in my life and a lasting impress on 
its subsequent course. Never shall I forget the first days 
of it when I lay in a college room during the anniversary 
of its Commencement, a stranger, young, alone sometimes 
for hours, with none amid the tumult and excitement to 
think of me or minister a cup of cold water. Never shall 
I forget the kindness of Mrs. Edwards, wife of the editor, 
who came to me, saw my desolate case, and took me, a 
comparative stranger, to her house and like a sister 
nursed me for weeks. I think I came near to, death, and 
the sickness, I believe, did much to heighten, intensify, 
and purify my religious experience. 

"The nights of ecstasy, the delight in prayer, the 
abstraction from this world and communion with Christ 
and the eternal world ; the sweet devotion and consecra- 
tion to a religious life ; the unworldliness of the mood I 
was then in, — have been unique in my mental history. 
I thought I never should descend from it, or be in love 
with this world again. But I have to record sadly that I 
did descend from it. I went down from this 'mount of 
transfiguration ' to the renewed contest with evil spirits. 
The decline was gradual and insidious, yet never, I think, 


to the level of my old existence. The tone, purpose, and 
ideal of my life were in a degree permanently altered. I 
think it was a merciful touch of divine Providence, that 
which the soul received as a new inbreath of the Holy 
Spirit, and for which all praise to the heavenly Father. 
" I recollect that during one of the nights of my sick- 
ness there occurred a wonderful meteoric storm which 
strangely excited my watchers. I remember the exclama- 
tions on their outlook upon the night, as though the end 
of the world had come. It was, I think, in October. The 
star shower was one of the most memorable recorded in 
meteorological history." 



Organization of the Congregational church at Jacksonville. — Public pro- 
fession of religion, and how it was brought about. — Letter picturing 
college life and surroundings. — Address at teachers' convention at 
Cincinnati. — Death of Aurelian Post. — Blind days and poetry. 

ON the fifteenth day of December, 1833, not far from 
nine months after the arrival of Mr. Post in Jack- 
sonville, the Congregational church of that place was 
organized in the Methodist house of worship, on East 
Morgan Street. 

On the roll of its first membership were the names of 
Timothy Chamberlain, Dr. M. L. Reed, Elihu Walcott, 
Jeremiah Graves, Edwin Mears, Asa Talcott, Salem Town, 
Benjamin Allyn, Jesse B. Clark, and a number of others, 
with members of their households, in all thirty-two 
persons, — some of which families, well-known at the 
time, have disappeared, and faded from the memory of 
the community. 

This church was the first of its order further from New 
England than Western Reserve, unless we except that in 
Mendon, and one in Rock Island, which were founded 
about this period, but which for some time were without 
any mutual relations, and indeed were scarcely heard of 
beyond their immediate vicinities. 

Of the Jacksonville church, then under the pastoral 
care of Rev. William Carter, Mr. Post became a member 
on the seventh of June, 1834. 

On this topic he writes (mss.) : " The currents of my 
religious life having changed, I agitated anew the question, 



never at rest, of uniting with the church by a public 
profession of my faith ; but I found the theological diffi- 
culties which barred my entrance into an orthodox church 
in the east, and which had sent me from Andover to 
Washington, and from Washington to the west, were not 
removed by my new religious experience. But the wish 
to overcome them and put them out of the way of my 
making a public profession of Christianity had grown 
stronger They were chiefly speculative and created by 
creeds requiring the affirmation of beliefs on points 
where.m I had not formed, and seemed unable to form, — 
had not the data or the faculty to form, — positive opinions ; 
and they were subjects my opinion in regard to which did 
not affect my Christian life in the inner or outer world. 

"At length in conversation with the Rev. William 
Carter, a man of earnest piety and Christian good sense, 
and who was then urging the duty and fitness of a public 
confession of Christ, he asked if I could not answer, to 
the inquiry as to my assent to the creed in a public pro- 
fession, that I believed I substantially accepted it. I felt 
I could surely give that form of assent, as I subsequently 
did give it, and so made my confession and was admitted 
to the church in a little chamber in the second story of a 
printer's office, then used as a place of meeting for a small 
and feeble band that had united themselves together as a 
Congregational church. 

"During these days I became acquainted with the Rev. 
Gideon Blackburn, and was much moved, and I think in 
some directions helped, by his sometimes crude but majes- 
tic pulpit eloquence. I was helped still more by the Chris- 
tian sweetness and simplicity of Mrs. Judge Lockwood." 

In June, 1834, Mr. Post had just returned from a trip to 
Ouincy and to Marion College in Missouri, and found him- 
self well pleased on the whole with his surroundings and 


manner of life. He evidently had no idea of changing the 

He writes — (letter to his mother, June 8) : — 

" I have seen another of my birthdays pass by, and am 
now twenty-four years old. ... I was appointed, some 
time last winter or early in the spring, professor of 
languages in the college, and have accepted. 

" My situation is pleasant, very pleasant, as much so 
as I ought to wish. I am associated with some of the 
best men, intellectually and morally, that I have ever seen, 
in a spot that in beauty and fertility is the garden of the 
whole west, and in the midst of a community that will 
soon be immensely rich and strong. 

" The station I am in is one of high and numerous 
responsibilities, and it requires strong energy and effort 
and high endowments to meet them as they should be 
met. I sometimes almost shrink back as I contemplate 

"... The college is situated on a height that over- 
looks the vast meadow before us, in one point of which 
you can discover nothing but prairie and sky. Imme- 
diately back of the college is a grove that forms our 
playground and walks and retreats in the hot weather. It 
is a beautiful grove, the richest in fruit and flowers that 
I have ever seen. . . . 

"About the college hill are several pleasant dwellings: 
one belonging to the chief justice of the court (a very 
pleasant man) and family ; another to a member of Con- 
gress (who will probably be our next governor). 

"You must remember that this place is in its very 
infancy. The college is hardly four years old. But we 
now have two buildings of brick, one of them larger than 
New College in Middlebury. 

" I live in a room by myself, a very pleasant one, from 


which I can look down upon the green prairies and farm- 
houses and -roves for many miles in extent. 

" I am a bachelor yet and probably shall remain so for 
the present. I board with the college faculty and their 
families in the college commons." 

In the fall of 1834 Mr. Post attended a teachers' con- 
vention in Cincinnati, returning by way of Logansport. 

Of this trip and a melancholy incident connected with 
it, an account is given in the mss. : — 

" I went from Jacksonville to Cincinnati through a 
country for the most part a wilderness. My journey was 
induced by a call of the teachers of the Mississippi 
Valley to meet there in an educational convention, and 
also by the hope of meeting my brother Aurelian at 
Logansport, Ind., in a visit I wished to make him after 
the session of the convention. I had left him at Andover, 
but he had been driven from there, by what proved the 
incipient stages of consumption, to seek restorative in- 
fluences at the west. He had taught a part of the year 
in the southern states, and was now on a visit for refuge 
from sickness and in hope of recovery at my brother 
Martin's home in Logansport. I had anticipated much 
pleasure from this visit. T set out with a horse and 
buggy for the teachers' convention at Cincinnati, having an 
address prepared on 'The Study of the Greek and Latin 
Classics as a Part of a Liberal Education ' ; anticipating 
there to meet Grimke, of South Carolina, who was known 
through the country as an able and eloquent antagonist 
of them. I went by way of Springfield, Paris, Terre 
Haute, and the National Road, except where its terrible 
condition compelled me to take byways through the 
Indiana forests to Indianapolis, and thence by way of 
Lawrence to Cincinnati. Though a stranger and young, 
I was somehow — I cannot now recall the circumstances 


— put forward to deliver my address, my first appearance 
before any extensive public gathering assembled from a 
large section of the country. I had every reason to sup- 
pose my address was very favorably received. It was 
commented on and criticized quite extensively in public 
prints, and afterwards published in a volume with other 
addresses before the convention. After it was delivered, 
an elderly gentleman, Dr. Daniel Drake, came up from 
the audience to the pulpit, and grasping my hand very 
warmly, with high compliments on my address, asked me 
to his house — an invitation I was obliged to decline on 
account of news from my brother Aurelian at Logansport 
which seemed to render it needful that I should hasten 
there if I wanted to find him alive. At that convention 
I remember meeting, besides Dr. Drake above referred 
to (quite a grand man and widely known), Professor 
McGuffey, a man also of much ability and extensive repu- 
tation (afterwards the author of a series of schoolbooks). 
Both of these men were subsequently my lifelong friends. 
I also met, and was most favorably impressed with, Edwin 
Mansfield, then a young man, well-known afterwards in 
politics and literature. 

" I left the evening after my address, hastening on to 
Logansport by way of Indianapolis, and the Indiana forests 
and my adventures with the wind and storm and nights 
amid the wilderness were — or would be now — quite 

" I reached Logansport only to find my brother Aurelian 
had been already a week in his grave. Of my grief and 
disappointment at not seeing once again the brother and 
companion of my childhood and youth, I cannot speak. 
He had talked of another trip to the south, till a day or 
two before his death. He and his elder brother, compan- 
ions of my boyhood, all that was mortal of them, now 

68 marcellus post. 

sleep side by side on the crown of a high bluff overhang- 
in-' the Wabash — to the resurrection morning. 

•• I found also at Logansport my half brother Augustus 
(now Dr. A. F. Hand, of Morris, 111.), who had left 
his father and home in Ferrisburg, Vt., and had come 
on through almost incredible hardships, traveling on foot, 
carrying his trunk on his back or working his way by 
canoe through the marsh and forest from Lake Erie along 
the Maumee River and down the Wabash to Logansport. 

" After a visit of a few days I returned by the way of 
Lafayette, Danville, and Springfield (a journey then 
through an almost unbroken wilderness) to Jacksonville, 
bringing Augustus with me." 

Of his brother Aurelian and his death Mr. Post wrote 
some lines of poetry, which were enclosed to his mother 
in a letter written November, 1834. They were not 
intended for any other eye and the fact that they were 
written was unknown to his own family till after his death. 

On his return to Jacksonville Mr. Post contracted a 
malady of the eyes, of which he writes (mss.) : "It was to 
me a fearful, persistent, and for two years a seemingly 
incurable plague. It blinded me to such an extent that I 
could not read anything or pursue my classic studies, 
except by the help of other eyes. It shut me up to 
memorizing and analyzing my previously acquired knowl- 
edge ; to committing to memory poetry : for example, 
whole books of Milton and other authors. It was of great 
use to me in teaching me to interpret, analyze, classify, 
and develop to their cause, origin, or consequence all 
acquired knowledge, and to brood facts or principles or 
scenery to their full significance and contents. In this 
affliction I began writing poetry, meditating at one time a 
large work. Those years were among the most profitable 
of my life." 


Probably the poetry referred to was an epic, or part of 
one, in pentameter .blank verse, entitled, "The Macro- 
cosm," begun during the first two years in Jacksonville, 
and containing not far from twenty-five hundred lines. It 
was never given to the public and indeed never brought to 
a close. Why it was unfinished is a matter of conjecture. 
It was probably crowded out, from year to year, by more 
pressing demands, and the " convenient season " never 
came. Work upon it was intermitted and resumed, for a 
time after Mr. Post's marriage ; and Newton Batemen, 
then an inmate of the household, remembers hearing him, 
from an adjoining chamber, in the late hours of the night, 
as, unable to read or write, he paced the floor and thought 
aloud and dictated to his wife, whose facile pen was then, 
as through subsequent years, of invaluable service. 

The poem, rewritten in parts and half copied, was at 
last laid away in his secretary and served simply as the 
reminder of an unrealized dream. 

Paradise Lost, the first two or three books of which 
he had known by heart from boyhood in Shoreham, and 
other parts of which, as appears from the mss. just 
quoted, were committed to memory in these blind days 
seems to have shot its color through his imagination when 
this poem was written. And some such influence may 
have been felt, unconsciously to the writer, in a less 
degree, from a favorite poem, Byron's " Dream." 

As the author never saw fit to give the manuscript to 
the public, and no correct estimate of the merit of the 
poem can be gleaned from disconnected extracts, the two 
or three fragments here quoted must not be read in the 
light of criticism, but merely as samples showing the 
beginnings and possibilities in poetic numbers of a 
young man of twenty-four, whose mind, though rich and 
abounding in poetic thoughts of the noblest order, was 


afterward too earnestly engaged in pressing needs of the 
hour for the stately measures of blank verse. 
In this poem, seen as in 

. . . "a mirror vast, 
Deep, pure, and spanless as the azure sky," 

appears, first of all and far back of created things, eter- 
nity, inhabited by 

The Invisible alone. No star, 

Nor cloud, nor angel's wing, gleamed through the lone 

And radiant infinite. Time was unborn. 

Space was the investiture of God. There was 

No height, no depth, no past, no future. All 

Was Deity. He was the Universe. . . . 

Then appears the serene primeval world of angel and 

Creation's elder born, the winged sons 

Of strength and splendor. Hues undying bathed 

Their glorious plumes ; their vision ne'er grew dim ; 

Their pinions never drooped. Decay ne'er touched 

The immortal youth that sat upon their brow 

Serene and golden wing. Nor grief, nor care, 

Nor weariness, nor evil thought, did cloud 

Their beings' sinless flow. 'Neath blander heavens, 

And more refulgent light, mid sweeter bowers 

Of bloom, and hills of softer green, and streams 

Of lovelier azure — scenes more brilliant far 

Than ancient poesy e'er dreamed or sung 

Of blest Hesperides in soft repose 

On the bright bosom of the western wave — 

Amid such worlds, and skies imparadised, 

They lived, they loved, they wandered, they adored. 

In quest of knowledge new, or of new themes 

For admiration, wonder, and delight, 

They skirted now around the farthest orb 

That glittered in the crystal depths, and now 

Returned, with plume unruffled by fatigue. 


In choir seraphic, and with lyre inbreathed 
With music's soul, they formed a starry crown 
Around the Lord of Light. Thus circled on 
The golden ages numberless, and swift, 
On silken pinions borne, the happy years 
Passed unrecorded by. . . . 

Then the vision changes and shows the drama of war- 
ring angels and falling demons and chaos following. Next 
appears the birth of creation and of Eden and of the first 
parents : — 

As dream of youth, or as that sweeter dream 
That breaks upon the faded eye of age, 
When on the dark extreme of mortal years 
Quick Fancy spreads his iris wings in flight 
And rainbowing o'er the waste of months and years 
Wakes childhood from its flowery grave, or Faith, 
With sun-eyed glance undazzled, wanders far 
Mid worlds of souls beyond the touch of sin ; 
And fadeless beauty, visions of the blest 
Eternity, with angel faces, shine 
Beyond the stream of death. . . . 

Then follows a description of the world before the flood, 
and a picture of the flood, closing the poem as transcribed 
and revised, — after which the mss. are in the rough 
original, interlined, uncorrected, and somewhat frag- 

The vision changed ; and lo ! before me pass'd 
In hurrying eddies, wasting earth and sky, 
One universal storm of flood and fire ; 
And piled clouds, and drifts of solid gloom, 
And march of mighty winds, and tempest pomp, 
And whirlwinds with the hot blue lightnings wreath'd 
Swept darkly' on; and o'er them all there blaz'd 
Vengeance, pale angel, and the sword of God. . . . 


. . . The vision changed. 
The broad, bright sun was flaming up a sky 
Of spotless blue, save one far cloud, whereon 
God's bow did hang. Below spread out a lone 
Illimitable deep, without or isle 
Or shore. All but the winds and waves were dead ; 
All save one motelike home of life, the ark, 
That floated moving on, a living thing 
Reposing on the mighty breast of death. 



Trip to the east in 1835, and marriage. — Wedding journey to Jacksonville. — 
Winter of 1835-36 at college. — Purchase of the Lockvvood place. — 
Strange night's adventure. — The new home: its inmates and surround- 
ings. — Newton Bateman. — Augustus Hand. — H. B. McClure and wife 
come west. — Visit of Madam Henshaw. — Story of a boar hunt. 

IN the spring of 1835 the trouble with his eyes, which 
seems to have baffled the skill of the Jacksonville 
doctors, impelled Mr. Post to seek a remedy elsewhere. 

He writes in the mss. : " I set out for the east ; visited 
St. Louis ; called to see Judge Peck, of the United States 
court, conspicuous in the judicial history of the time, who 
had become nearly blind from disease of the eyes, and 
consulted him in regard to the treatment he had adopted 
and the result. I learned nothing satisfactory. I only 
wondered he had any eyes left. 

" I proceeded by boat to Cincinnati and thence to 
Marietta, where I stopped ; had a brief battle with sick- 
ness ; visited the traces of an ancient Indian city or camp 
in the vicinity ; met Mr. Edward Beecher and family at 
Pittsburgh ; parted company with them there on board a 
canal boat, and took a stage for Philadelphia over the 
mountains ; went from Philadelphia to New York, was 
there taken to the home of Mr. Marcus Wilbur, and for 
some time was cared for and nursed by his wife, a most 
lovely Christian lady and friend, whom I shall ever remem- 
ber with gratitude and pleasure. 

"While in New York I was under the treatment of 
Dr. John Kearney Rogers for several weeks, but received 


little decided advantage, and thought it best to visit 
Dr. Reynolds, of Boston, whose reputation at the time 
was highest among American oculists. 

" I visited Berlin, Conn., and Northampton, Mass. ; 
made the acquaintance of Dr. Todd, my experience with 
whom was singular, but which resulted at last in a perma- 
nent friendship. I visited Amherst College, took tea 
with Dr. Humphreys and the faculty, proceeded to Boston 
by way of Worcester, stayed briefly in Boston, having 
received for treatment of my eyes directions which, with 
other influences, I think resulted in their cure during the 
year afterwards. 

" I then traveled from Boston to Boscawen, where I 
became acquainted with the family of Mr. Ezekiel Web- 
ster, and attended the Commencement of Dartmouth 
College. From that place I journeyed to Ferrisburgh, 
Vt., and there visited my mother, who treated and nursed 
my sore eyes for a number of weeks, and thence I con- 
tinued on to Middlebury." 

October 5th of this year was an eventful day in these 
annals ; inasmuch as it witnessed the double wedding of 
Madam Henshaw's two youngest daughters, namely, that 
of Harriet with Henry B. McClure, and that of Frances 
with the subject of this memoir. The event was at the 
time a notable one in Middlebury society, though no one 
of those who took part in the pageant and scarcely one of 
those who witnessed it now survive. 

Mrs. Seymour, — then Miss Hagar, — a schoolmate and 
companion of Frances Henshaw, still recalls a number of 
incidents and details which will aid in supplying a picture 
of the wedding scene. Two couples as handsome she had 
rarely, if ever, seen in Middlebury. She remembers what 
a striking contrast in types of loveliness was presented by 
the sisters — Harriet being a pronounced blonde, while 


St. Stephen's Church, Middlebury, Vt. 



Frances was a brunette. Nor did Mrs. Seymour forget 
the fact that both wore white satin gowns and a single 
white flower. Her statement may now seem strange that 
the face of Mr. Post at that period had a good deal of 
color and that his hair was nearly black and curling closely 
about his head. 

The little church of St. Stephen, where the ceremony 
took place and where the Henshaw household had wor- 
shiped since its erection, seven years before, was crowded 
with friends from Middlebury and elsewhere, and was 
decked with flowers and evergreens. The Rev. Mr. 
Crane, rector of the church, officiated, and Madam Hen- 
shaw, with her son, the Rev. Mr. — afterwards Bishop — 
Henshaw, stood at the chancel and received the bridal 
party. The wedding began in a rain storm which broke 
into sunshine at the close of the service. In the evening 
there was a reception at the house of Madam Henshaw. 

"A day or two after the wedding" (mss.) " I took my 
wife and drove in a buggy to Ferrisburgh and made a few- 
days' visit with my mother (the last mortal touch of that 
sweet noble life). Then we returned to Middlebury, and 
I remember the farewell to my dear, queenly mother-in-law 
at the Henshaw home; then our stage ride through Cas- 
tleton to Troy and Albany and our sail down the Hudson 
by steamboat, and a visit in Brooklyn, at the hospitable 
home of Mrs. Richards, the noble, gifted elder sister of 
my wife. Her daughter Sarah (afterward Mrs. Kirkwood) 
and another young lady, who were bridesmaids, had been 
our companions of travel from Middlebury. 

" From Brooklyn, after a brief and pleasant visit, we 
took steamer up the Hudson to Troy, spent a clay or 
so with Madam Willard and her children, then traveled 
by Erie Canal (at that time equal to a royal progress) to 
Geneva, N. Y. ; thence by stage to Lewistown, then by 


buggy, myself being driver, up the Niagara River to the 
falls and to Buffalo ; a memorable and never-to-be-forgotten 
ride, both because of the scenery and the time in our 
lives, — the climacteric of youth and marriage, — which 
we took by ourselves in a road then solitary ; an all-day 
ride in a bright autumn sunshine, through natural scenery 
in some regards the most wondrous in the world. And 
we were alone with nature and with each other, moving 
on toward the great mystery of life, the mystery of a new 
life in a new world in the mysterious West. 

" From Buffalo we took steamer for Ashtabula, and from 
that point crossed by stage with slow progress — traveling 
by day and lying by at night — to Wellsville, on the Ohio, 
and to Cincinnati ; thence, after a brief visit, by steamer 
down the Ohio, which was a trip so slow that we were on 
it nearly a week, — a travel intolerably tedious except that 
we were together, deepening our acquaintance with each 
other, relating stories of our past lives ; my wife reading 
to me often, as my eyes were not restored to strength. 
Then turning up the Mississippi we reached St. Louis in 
about a week from Cincinnati. There, as I remember, we 
made a visit with Mrs. Samuel Perry and also one with 
Dr. Beaumont's family. After this stay in St. Louis we 
took stage through mud and dreary weather to Carlinville, 
— then a most forbidding place, — and thence, again by 
stage, on to Jacksonville, which, with the rain and mud 
and dark, dreary days of November, wore its worst 

To Mr. Roberts he wrote from Illinois College, Feb- 
ruary 23, 1836 : — 

" We had a pleasant return journey, though a long one, 
of five weeks. ... It was not till I got amid the mighty 
solitudes of our rivers and forests and our magnificent 
prairies that I could make it seem real that I had been 


once more to gaze on the mountains of my childhood and 
the faces of other years, or realize that all the tides of 
emotion, intense interests, and changeful incident that 
had crossed my stream of being and marked it to eternity, 
were anything more than the rapidly shifting scenes and 
forms and personnel of a fairy and tragic dream of a 
night in midsummer. But a loving presence by my side, 
and tones known 'neath far other skies told me that it 
'was not all a dream.' " 

Mr. and Mrs. Post reached the college November 12, 
1835, and there they found among the faculty society 
President Beecher and his wife and her mother and 
unmarried sister, and Professor — afterwards President — 
Sturtevant and wife and her sister, Miss Fairweather. 

After boarding a short time in the "commons" the 
newly-married pair spent the remainder of the winter 
(1835-36) in the north wing with the family of Mr. 

" My wife " (mss.) " first assisted me in preparing for 
my recitations by reading to me in English and Latin, 
and subsequently, having learned the Greek alphabet, in 
Greek, although she could not translate either. Then she 
took my malady of the eyes from me, and for months 
neither of us was able to read. We were shut up and 
could only talk or listen to the reading of others. Yet 
the cheerfulness of my dear wife never forsook her. She 
was ever to me a spirit of sweetness and a spirit of light, 
and the blind days were neither profitless nor unhappy, 
but in many ways touched beneficently our lives." 

"This winter," writes Mrs. Post from St. Louis, in the 
spring following, "was one of blind happiness." 

Among the friends made during this period and referred 
to in the mss. were Dr. John Blatchford and his wife, Dr. 
Blackburn, already mentioned, Theron Baldwin (who soon 


afterward, with Captain Godfrey, established Monticello 
Seminary), and Winthrop Gil man. 

The year 1836 possesses intense interest for the de- 
scendants of Mr. Post from the fact that his home life 
was begun here ; life in a home of surpassing loveliness, 
where all but one of his children were born, and where 
the family life continued uninterrupted through all the 
daws in Jacksonville. The selection by Mr. Post of his 
homestead came about in this way: — 

It will be remembered that the program of the college 
corporation when he became one of its professors was 
to furnish them with residences. And the project ulti- 
mately failed, simply for want of means. There may be 
some connection between such a scheme and a resolution 
appearing in the college records, adopted March 11, 1836, 
appointing a committee " to provide temporary accommo- 
dations for Professors Post and Turner, with power to 
purchase the house now offered for sale by Hon. S. D. 

The house had been recently built by Judge Lockwood, 
and about it was a tract of seven acres. It was only a 
quarter of a mile from the chapel, and a sweet, solitary 
footpath through the intervening belt of woodland led 
from one to the other. Mr. Post's sojourn had charmed 
him with the spot, and Judge Lockwood was his personal 
friend. So he concluded to make the purchase, and, with 
his young wife, went into possession in the spring of 1836, 
although the title to the property does not seem to have 
passed till 1839. In that year the place was bought by 
him for $3,600, and two mortgages were given for the 
purchase money, one for a part of it to Judge Lockwood 
and another for the remainder to the college. Both of 
these mortgages were paid off in 1846. 

The site where this house was built is said to have 


been chosen by Judge Lockwood as the highest point in 
Morgan County. Certainly it commanded a brave out- 
look to the north and to the west, while to the south and 
east it was screened by a venerable grove of forest trees. 
The hill on which it stood swept gracefully down to the 
road a few hundred yards in front, and the house, while 
in view to passers-by, was partially hidden by the foliage 
of oak and elm trees and by elder and snowball bushes, 
and was far away from any dust and noise of the turnpike. 
The woods between the house and the college, though 
small in extent, were thickly grown and ancient enough 
for the dryads ; and their lofty branches still afforded 
occasional shelter to those denizens of wild nature that 
linger about the dwelling of the pioneer. The house 
itself was of brick, painted a " cream color," of two 
stories in height and with gable ends. It had a central 
hall and stairway and parlor and sitting-room on the 
lower floor, and chambers overhead, and to the south was 
a wooden ell, containing pantry, storeroom, kitchen, and 
bedroom. Among the delights of the place, and by no 
means the least of them, it possessed a well of immense 
depth, with water cold and clear and never failing in the 
driest days. At the southern end of the grounds was 
an elm of colossal size whose branches, spreading like a 
parachute, could be seen for miles away above the sur- 
rounding timber. The place was a strangely sequestered 
one. Near neighbors there were none. The visitors were 
chiefly the robin and the thrush, and the wrens which 
annually came and built their nests in the closed window 
blinds ; and no ruder sounds were heard there than the 
chatter of the jay and the cooing of the stockdove, and 
now and then the screech of the owl in the dead of the 
night, and the daily call of the chapel bell or the faint 
sound from that of the church a mile and a half away. 


July, 1836, brought the first cradle into this household. 
In that month was chronicled the arrival of a daughter, 
the firstborn among six children. And in this connection 
an incident may be given as illustrating the loneliness of 
the house in its then surroundings and the dangers to 
which the inmates were sometimes exposed. 

In those days, what with the absence of Mr. Post at 
faculty meetings, and the difficulty in securing servants, 
and the solitary situation of the place, the evenings were 
often passed by Mrs. Post without a soul in the house 
except the little baby. It was on such an evening that an 
occurrence took place, which is described by Mr. Post as 
follows : — 

" The evening was wild, the wind blowing violently, the 
sky moonless, and the air thick with down-rushing snow. 
Amounting almost to sleet it pattered against the window, 
which occasionally shook and rattled as in anger or suffer- 
ing under the fierce paroxysmal blows of the tempest. 
My house was about one fourth of a mile distant from 
the college, separated from it by a bit of thicket and 
forest through which ran a footpath. On the south no 
house for miles. On the west an old, sort of tumble-down 
house, formerly occupied by 'Judge Simras,' but rented 
for the season to a man named Goram, a violent and bad 
man, but with a wife who was a pleasant Christian woman, 
a member of my church. My wife and myself and little 
Frances in the cradle were alone in the house, when sud- 
denly there was a hurried knocking on the door and then 
the presentation at the window of a woman's face pale 
with terror, head bonnetless, with hair disheveled in wild 
disorder. I sprang to the door and opened it, and the 
next instant Mrs. Goram was in the room with the ex- 
clamation : 'O Mr. Post! two men are murdering my 
husband ; they are holding him over the fire and threat- 
ening: to throw him into it and roast him alive.' 


" I immediately put on my boots, took out my gun, and 
hastened through the thick darkness and blinding snow 
down to the highway on the north in order to go to the 
Gorams', the course across lots, over fences, and through 
forest, being almost impassable in the darkness. As I 
reached the road I heard the footsteps of a horse ap- 
proaching. I called aloud to the rider. He answered to 
my halloo. I told him there was an alarm of murder in 
the house near by ; that there were two of the murderers 
and I was alone. He was a cattle driver, a rough order' 
of men at that day, but he immediately turned his horse 
and went with me to the scene of the alarm. As we 
approached the house the noise of violent moving and 
loud objurgation came on our ears. The lower part of 
the house was strongly lighted up ; we stood for no knock- 
ing but immediately burst into the room. There stood 
three men before a large blazing fire, their backs turned 
toward us. The room was in great disorder as was the 
dress of the men, and stains of blood were about on the 
floor. The aspect of the men themselves, with torn and 
disorderly garments and faces aflame with passion, was 
wild and, with the shade and the blazing fire, quite of the 
Rembrandt order. As we entered they turned, each 
attempting to vociferate his story, so drowning each other 
that I could understand nothing. 

" It afterward appeared that the two men with Mr. 
Goram were Englishmen, father and son, on their way 
further west. They had with them a team of four horses 
and a wagon. Overtaken by the cold weather on their 
route they had taken board for their horses and them- 
selves at Goram's for the winter, expecting with the first 
grass of spring to proceed on their journey. Troubles and 
jealousies and quarrels about various things had arisen, 
and that night Goram had drawn a knife and axe against 


them. They had disarmed him, but on a second attempt 
had become exasperated and torn his hand in taking away 
his weapons and then held him up before the fire declar- 
ing they would roast him. At that juncture Mrs. Goram 
had fled through the storm to my house for help. As I 
came in and all began to tell their story at once, I checked 
them and told them I could hear but one at a time. As 
they paused and one of the Englishmen began to talk, 
suddenly, quick and lithe as a wildcat, Goram sprang for 
his ride, suspended from the low ceiling just above their 
heads. In a moment one of them would have been dead,, 
but we all sprang at and on him and again disarmed 
him, I presume with no great care for tenderness in the 
act. Then the younger Englishman began to tell his 
story, when suddenly I heard the tramp of a multitude, 
as though a hundred men were beating the earth with 
clubs. The next minute my strong, Ajax-like, half-brother 
Augustus, burst into the room, carrying the door with 
him as he came, and the room was full of men. They 
were students of the college that, led by Augustus, had 
rushed through the dark and storm and mud and splash, 
and through thicket, brier, and brake to the scene of 
alarm and to my supposed rescue. 

" The manner of their coming was this : After I had 
suddenly left the house for the scene of the reported 
murder, leaving my wife alone with little Frances in the 
cradle, it flashed upon her that I had gone, a single man, 
to a scene of murder by two men in a solitary place who 
might avenge my interference and complete and cover 
one crime by perpetration of another. She must run to 
the college through storm and night and, leaving the 
baby alone, rally somebody to my assistance. Accord- 
ingly she started and got through thicket and forest and 
darkness, I know not how, and, approaching the college, 


discovered a light in the chapel. It was evidently full of 
people, but she could not hesitate ; she dashed into the 
room where the students were in general assembly for a 
public debate. She could not speak, but her pale face 
and her disordered array spoke for her. Augustus rushed 
to her in alarm. She could only say, ' Your brother — 
murder — Judge SimmsV Nor did he wait to hear more, 
but, he leading, the students scampered pellmell through 
the storm and mud, and thicket and forest, and over 
fences till, reaching the house, they made their appearance 
as I have described. 

" After they came in, something of order was estab- 
lished. The men were called to tell their story, which 
they did in succession. But I soon saw there was no 
way of reconcilement or peace or safety if they were left 
together ; and to save bloodshed and possible homicide, I 
directed the Englishmen to harness their team and come 
to my house. I would give shelter to them and their 
animals. They did so, and I housed and sheltered them 
for several days. 

" After my wife had delivered her message on the night 
of the alarm, exhausted, breathless, and spent, she would 
have rested but that the vision of the little babe in the 
house all alone, urged her haste almost as much as the 
vision of her husband set upon and murdered. It was 
not a great while before they got through the woods, 
and found the little child sleeping quietly and sweetly as 
though there was neither harm nor crime in the world. 
But it took a long time for my wife's nervous system to 
recover from the shock." 

It must not be supposed that life in the new home was 
passed in the wilderness, or entirely away from society. 

There was a personal magnetism and sympathy on the 
part of Mr. Post, and a mental stimulus in his teaching, 


that drew the students strongly towards him, and a number 
of them were much about his place, rendering service in 
different ways, and in turn receiving aid in their studies. 
Anion- them were Newton Bateman, mentioned in a pre- 
vious chapter, afterward state superintendent of public 
instruction in Illinois, and now president of Knox College 
at Galesburg in that slate, and always the devoted friend 
of his old professor. 

Augustus Hand for a time lodged in the college, but 
early became an inmate of the family, and was of great 
assistance in various matters, besides adding quite mate- 
rially to the life of the household by his presence and 
kindly and eccentric ways. 

After the double wedding, Mr. McClure and wife had 
spent some time among the relatives of the former, in 
Brockport, N. Y., and in August, 1836, Mrs. Post, who 
is longing to have her sister in Jacksonville, writes a 
most earnest invitation to them to come west ; " Come," 
she says, "to our home and our hearts." But no definite 
tidings could be got till Thanksgiving day, when, just as 
Mr. and Mrs. Post were sitting down to the table to 
discuss a dinner of wild turkey, the missing ones drove 
up in a buggy, wholly unannounced, having come across 
the country in this mode of conveyance. 

The McClures stayed with them for some time, after- 
ward removing to a house of their own half a mile or so 
nearer town on the southern edge of the "prairie," and 
within easy walking distance of the home on the hill ; 
and the intercourse between the sisters and their house- 
holds remained one of almost daily intimacy through their 
joint stay in Jacksonville. Shortly after his arrival in 
that village, Mr. McClure opened a law office and com- 
menced a practice which, in spite of the fearless stand 
taken by him for free-soil principles, finally carried him 
into the front ranks of the Illinois bar. 


There was no little visiting done among the families of 
the faculty, all of whom were from New England, and 
congenial by reason of birth and education, and all living 
on College Hill and readily accessible to each other. And 
there was, as may be imagined, great rejoicing when 
Madam Henshaw, drawn by the double attraction, about 
this time took her journey all the way from Middlebury 
and made the daughters a long visit. 

But although there was no dearth of pleasant society 
at the home and among the families of College Hill, — as 
indeed also by reason of frequent social interchanges with 
people of the village, — there still remained about the 
region traces of primitive wild nature that were not with- 
out their attractions and excitements. The prairie fowl 
and hen hawk were to be found through the open country, 
and the raccoon and hoot owl were not infrequent visitors 
in the College grove. 

An adventure related in the mss., and here copied, shows 
that more formidable game had not yet become obsolete : 

"It was some time about midsummer of 1837, when, on 
going into my garden one day, I saw there a strange look- 
ing animal engaged in eating and destroying the vege- 
tables. It looked in some respects like a common hog, 
yet struck me as different from anything I had ever seen. 
The creature was of a reddish brown, with a shag about the 
head and neck like a mane, with peaked nose, and long, 
terrible tusks. He was not heavier than large specimens 
of the common, domestic hog, but longer, lanker ; with 
flesh not adipose, but muscle and brawn, and well and 
compactly limbed. 

" He seemed to belong to a race of swine imported into 
the country, a long time ago lost in the wilds and grown 
savage, called 'prairie sharks,' the dread of swine-raisers 
and swine-dealers ; which could run with horse or hound ; 


which despised dogs and fences and shotguns ; whose 
greed nothing could gorge ; whose lankness no feeding 
could fatten ; scrawny, swift, strong, invulnerable. 

" The animal saw me as I entered and, as I was between 
him and the gate, he rushed directly at me. Not in the 
least stopped or turned aside by the missile with which I 
struck him full in the face, he swept past me, who nar- 
rowly avoided his stroke, and loping off through the front 
lot, jumped over a five-rail fence and disappeared in the 
neighboring wilds. But the creature, having got a taste 
of farm products, evidently liked them, and would return, 
though not in the daytime. Ke would prowl about my 
premises in the night, solitary and wary in his habits, like 
a wild beast. I set all sorts of snares, scythes, and bear 
traps, but he knew how to elude them or break away from 
them. I fed him arsenic enough to have killed a score 
of men. Nothing could hurt him, nothing could hold 
him, nothing could poison him ; and he kept on his 
nightly prowling and foraging. The college boys came 
over to my help and kept watch around my premises, 
but so keen was his smell, or so vigilant and wary his 
outlook, that he was never seen or heard by them. 

" So matters went on, much to my discomfiture and 
disgust, for some time. At length one quiet, moonlight 
night, past the middle of it, my wife waked me. The 
creature was in the front lot ; she could see him plainly. 
He was deliberately, as one perfectly master of the situa- 
tion and with no fear of interruption, breaking down the 
long corn and, like an oriental sultan, was dining leisurely 
alone. I immediately dressed and, going out in another 
direction, stole off noiselessly to the college by a path 
through the intervening forests. On my way I turned 
over the stile that led from the path into my premises, 
as I knew if alarmed he would take that mode of exit ; 


for though his swineship could on emergency defy and 
despise fences, he evidently preferred going over the stiles 
like a gentleman. I hurried over to the college and, going 
to the students' quarters, I roused up Thomas Laurie, a 
young, bright, and resolute Scotch boy from the neighbor- 
hood, since that time for years a missionary in Syria, sub- 
sequently a pastor in Roxbury, and now with a church in 
Providence. I also called up Ireland, since then a mis- 
sionary in Africa, where he now is. They hurried on 
their clothes and came, Laurie with a shotgun and 
Ireland with his spear, ready for action. 

" Returning silently through the grove, I posted them 
by the fence which divided it from the field in front of 
my house where the marauder was at work, stationing 
Laurie in ambush behind the fence at the place of the 
stile, where I knew the boar would first rush, and Ireland 
lower down in supporting distance, also in ambush behind 
the fence. I then took my gun and went into the field 
making a loud noise, whereupon, as I had expected, the 
animal, alarmed, rushed to the stile and in a moment I 
heard the report of Laurie's gun ringing on the night 
air. The beast had come close to him and he had fired 
full in his face. Intimidated by the report and the smoke 
and the shock, the boar had run back and was looking for 
an escape on the other side of the lot, and beyond my 
house toward the south and west. I knew he could not 
well escape in that direction as there was a tall, close 
board fence which he could neither leap nor climb, and 
I ran thither with my gun. 

" But he had discovered his mistake and, finding no 
escape in that direction, had turned at bay, and seeing 
me approach, charged upon me. I heard the grinding of 
his teeth and saw, under the shadow of the trees in 
the moonlight, the line of a dark object approaching. I 


waited until I could almost touch him with my gun, and 
then fired and sprang to one side. It was well I did so, 
for afterward it became apparent that otherwise he would 
have struck me with his terrible tusks and strength, and 
must have killed me or torn me fearfully. As it was the 
shock and flash and smoke, together with my springing 
aloof, saved me, and he swept past me not in the least 
deterred or diverted, leaving the strong wild boar smell 
on the air, and running toward the stile. Then another 
ring of Laurie's gun on the night air, and with the same 
result as at the first. But the animal, unharmed, had now 
retreated into the concealment of the depth of the tall 
corn, and refused to come out. 

" It evidently was dangerous to stir him up, or to go in 
and drive him out, and none of us liked to enter into the 
cornfield. But evidently it must be done or the enemy, 
long hunted and at last brought to bay, would escape us. 
So addressing myself to the exigencies of the case, I 
armed myself with gun and axe, and also with weapons 
still more effective, namely, tin pans and pails which I 
could beat to the direst tantara-ra-ra, and marched, with 
all drums beating, down upon the enemy. It evidently 
was too much for him — this new, strange terror — for 
directly I heard again the ringing of the gun on the 
night air, and then the jubilant shout, that set all the 
echoes of the forest a-going, ' I 've killed him ! I 've killed 
him ! ' I ran up to Laurie's station, and lo ! there he lay, 
the monster, — for such he was, — stretched out in death. 
The discharge at close quarters from behind the fence 
had thrown the entire consolidated charge through the eye 
into the brain. Otherwise he was shotproof. We might 
as well have fired our shotguns at an iron-plated enemy. 
The previous charges had left no wound in him ; had not 
penetrated at all the shield of tough brawn an inch and 


a half thick with which nature covered his neck and 

" He was something dreadful to behold. His mass of 
hard muscle with tendons like those of an ox, his tusks, 
long and sharp, and his red wild shag of mane, made 
him a fearful object, and suggested the peril beyond our 
thought to which we had been exposed in hunting him. 
Few wild beasts could have been more terrible to en- 
counter. His appearance justified all that the ancients 
have told us of the peril and the heroic courage involved 
in the boar hunt. 

" Next day there was a gathering of students around 
the slain. They fastened ropes around him and drew him 
out into the depth of the forest, where people came from 
miles around to see. He must have been the last of his 
race in that region. I never saw his like there or else- 
where. With the Indians of Illinois and the mound 
builders, he lives only in tradition and the mists of the 
well-nigh forgotten past." 



Daniel Webster in Jacksonville. — The slave-power in Illinois in 1837. — 
Fourth of July oration. — Death of Lovejoy and "Address to the people 
of Alton." 

IT may surprise the general reader that a man then so 
prominent throughout the country as Daniel Webster 
should have taken a tour in the year 1837 through the 
"far west," and especially that he should have made any 
stay in a village so small as the Jacksonville of that 
period. But it is a fact that he passed through there 
during that year, and stayed long enough to make a 
number of speeches and to listen to others ; also to attend 
a " barbecue " and one or more receptions given in his 
honor. An address of welcome was given by President 
Beecher, and in the estimation of the college students 
the speech, as a specimen of oratory, far excelled the 
response thereto of the distinguished guest. 

It may be worthy of narration simply because Mr. 
Webster figures in the story, that on one of these speech- 
making occasions, at which, of course, all Jacksonville and 
vicinity were present, it was found necessary by the com- 
mittee in charge, for want of a better rostrum, to mount 
the illustrious orator upon a chair occupied by Mrs. Post ; 
but Mr. Webster gallantly refused to ascend until another 
seat had been procured for its occupant and he had in 
person escorted her to it. 

One evening Mr. Webster was entertained at the house 
of Governor Duncan, who probably had known him in 



Washington. Among the guests were Judge Lockwoocl 
and wife and Mr. and Mrs. Post. 

In a letter to a member of Governor Duncan's family 
Mr. Post refers to this evening and his recollection of 
Webster and a conversation with him on the book of 

Chronologically in this connection reference should be 
made to the slavery agitation in Illinois in the " thirties " 
and the attitude taken by the faculty of Illinois College on 
that question. 

In Jacksonville, while there was a considerable admixture 
of people from New England, a very large and influential 
part of the population was made up of Kentuckians, 
having a strong proslavery bias. 

In that place as elsewhere through all that region there 
was (mss.) "a collision between two antagonistic civiliza- 
tions, one born directly or indirectly of slavery and the 
other of freedom ; between different views of humanity as 
well as Christianity — views as to the rights and relations 
of men in states, societies, churches, and in the kingdom 
of God. . . . The shock had been long deferred. Antag- 
onistic principles had slept side by side in unconscious or 
timid procrastination of the inevitable. But that era was 
passed. Those principles were now in direct encounter in 
the same field, confronting one another in struggle for 
the same domain, the possession and organization of the 
same nascent empire, each conscious of the other as its 
mortal foe and of this as the fatal hour. Amid this con- 
flict of Ormuzd and Ahriman I had to do my thinking, 
talking, writing, and preaching, in all the demands of 
an initial ministerial and pastoral life. The pressure of 
these questions was ubiquitous as an atmosphere." 

The writer recalls the relentless and sleepless inquisi- 
tion of the slave-power; its "espionage and censorship 


over speech, press, school, society, and the pulpit;" how 
it "hounded, with threat of social ostracism, or mob mur- 
der, or the mad dog cry of 'abolitionist,' all that dared an 
utterance of opposition to its despotism," and how "it 
sent forth our young men to vindicate their chivalry by 
hunting down on horseback a poor negro woman fleeing 
from the hounds and the lash through the winter storm 
and snow, shivering in barns or sleeping under the open 
heavens in the fearful cold." 

Illinois College in those days was looked upon by the 
southern people with suspicion, and by many was regarded 
as an "engine of abolitionism." And although not on the 
extreme lines, its position as an antislavery institution was 
pronounced and fearless. 

On the Fourth of July, 1837, Mr. Post delivered in Jack- 
sonville an oration which (with one spoken on the same 
occasion by Rev. Edward Beecher) was, " at the earnest 
solicitation of the students," furnished for the press ; and 
which, among various topics appropriate for the occa- 
sion, dwelt upon the portents of the times. Although 
proslavery proscription and mob violence had not then 
reached the culminating point, — the tragic denouement 
of November following, — that crisis was plainly coming 
and not far distant, and the air was thick with it. Two or 
three passages from this oration are inserted here, as its 
words of counsel and warning have a peculiar significance 
in the light of events shortly following : — 

" . . . I come forward, my fellow citizens, to mingle my 
hopes and gratulations and sympathies with yours. Born 
amid a wild and mountain land, where the foot of the 
invader never penetrated but to bear him to defeat and 
death, nurtured amid plains where the share of the plow- 
man ever and anon turned up the rusty memorials and 
moldering bones of Revolutionary times, though the course 


of my life leads me aloof Jrom political controversy, I have 
learned ever to greet this day with joy and with gratitude. 
It is a day that calls up hallowed associations and treas- 
ured hopes ; a day toward which, clown the far shades of 
the future, the eyes of mankind will be turned as to one 
of the proudest in the record of human action. . . . 

" It is the birthday of a peculiar people, of a new form 
of human society, predicated upon the assertion of the 
mutual equality and equal rights of man. ... A new 
principle has been thrown into human affairs whose influ- 
ence is to be limited not to our own empire, however vast, 
but to reach the millions upon whom our midnight sun 
is the orb of the morning. . . . 

"It is possible that great and immutable principles, 
especially when they require effort or sacrifice, may be 
held up simply as splendid theory, while in practice they 
become obsolete, powerless, dead. There is such a thing 
as living down constitutions and Declarations of Right by 
practically denying or violating the principles on which 
they are founded, till at last they are located amid the 
figures of rhetoric or the speculations of fancy, but have 
no lodgment in the belief of the intellect or the affections 
of the heart. When the fundamental principles of any 
government come to be thus regarded by the people, the 
original vital spirit of that government is lost, the green- 
ness of youth, the freshness of the heart is gone ; decay 
and dissolution are the natural results. 

" There is a relation subsisting in this country that dia- 
metrically contradicts the instrument to which we have 
just been listening, and which declares that all men are 
not created equal or with certain inalienable rights ; a 
relation at war with the spirit and the letter of our Con- 
stitution, neutralizing our example, aye, holding it up to 
derision and contempt with foreign nations, rendering a 


nullity that enthusiastic assertion of universal equality of 
right which in 1776 awoke the American heart and roused 
the nations of the earth as with the sound of a trumpet. 
It was on this principle that the battle of the Revolution 
was fought. Slavery in our system is a discordant ele- 
ment. American slavery and American liberty cannot 
coexist on the same soil. . . 

"There is another evil to which I will allude, of recent 
but of portentous birth : insubordination to law. Liberty 
has come to signify, in the mouths of some, an utter dis- 
solution of all restraints of law, and with many, license to 
transcend the law in extreme cases, that is, as facts show, 
wherever private passion or popular frenzy rage. It is 
high time that our darling words 'liberty ' and ' republi- 
canism ' were understood. It should be graven with a 
pen of iron on the heart of the whole American people 
that the supremacy of the law is the living soul of repub- 
licanism ; that the highest liberty of which man is capable 
is to be governed and protected by the laws which he 
himself has made ; that an insurrection against law in a 
republic is an insurrection of the people against the 
people ; is suicide that no extreme which would not 
justify plunging the dagger into their own bosom will 
justify ; that he who is guilty of it, in whatever form, — 
mob law, lynch law, club law, or dirk law, — is a traitor to 
his country and does all that he, a single individual, can 
do to lay her honor in the dust. . . . Xo nation has ever 
been able to endure mob law. None ever can." 

About this time was published in The Jacksonville 
Statesman an article signed " Hitherto a Whig," from 
the pen of Mr. Post, condemning in strong terms the 
mobbing, at Andersonville, Ind., of an "abolition emis- 
sary," and an editorial defence of the outrage by the 
editor of a Whig paper called The Illinoisian. 


It is a matter of familiar history that on the night of the 
seventh of November, 1837, a proslavery mob surrounded 
the stone warehouse of Godfrey & Gilman in the city of 
Alton, where, at the time, was stored the press of The 
Observer, a newspaper edited by Elijah Parish Lovejoy. 

This press had been received from a steamer on the 
Mississippi two days before. It will be remembered 
that twenty or thirty men, including Winthrop S. Gilman, 
were in the building, armed with muskets and shotguns, 
and defending the property, and that during the fight 
Lovejoy was killed. 

This was the last scene and final catastrophe in a long 
and tragic drama enacted in St. Louis, St. Charles, and 
Alton, in which Lovejoy was the central figure. His 
death was not the mere "taking off" of a single private 
citizen. He stood for antislavery public opinion in the 
west. The continued assaults on his press in those 
cities, and his fearless pertinacity through all the "hunt 
of obloquy," made his name familiar everywhere in 
Illinois and Missouri, and the shot that took his life was 
felt to be that of an organized political power, and aimed 
at the life of free speech and free press in the Mississippi 

While the Alton tragedy was brewing, the situation of 
Lovejoy at the time was canvassed by the faculty of Illinois 
College, and "we resolved" (mss.) "it was expedient that 
Dr. Edward Beecher should go to Alton in his support 
and render what aid he could by countenance, address, or 

Dr. Beecher accordingly went to Alton, and there took 
an active and prominent part in the antislavery con- 
vention of October, 1837, being one of the committee on 

At a mass meeting there, November 2, he offered reso- 


lutions championing free speech and protection against 
mob violence; but the resolutions were sent to a commit- 
tee, and at the next meeting substitute resolutions were 
adopted, in which it was " deemed a matter indispensable 
to the peace and harmony of this community that the 
labors and the influence of the late editor of The Observer 
be no longer identified with any newspaper establishment 
of this city." 

Lovejoy addressed the meeting, announcing his inten- 
tion to continue his work, and closed a strong and impas- 
sioned appeal by saying : " If the civil authorities refuse 
to protect me, I must look to God ; and if I die, I am 
determined to make my grave in Alton." 

It was only three days afterward when Lovejoy was 
killed and his press thrown into the Mississippi. And it 
was very shortly after his death, while public sentiment 
was at its white heat, that a communication entitled " An 
Address to the People of Alton," was published in The 
New York Emancipator. 

"I had" (mss.) "to keep the whole matter as secret 
as the grave from my very associates and companions, 
as though conscious of some dreadful crime. It was 
thought my life would be worth nothing if my authorship 
were known, in the state of the popular mind at the time, 
so desperate then was the wrath and terror of the slave- 
power in its tyranny over the free state of Illinois. My 
secret, I think, was not even known to The Emancipator, 
which published the article. It was kept even from Love- 
joy's family, who inserted the address, without knowing 
the authorship, in the Life of Lovejoy which they subse- 
quently published." 

No adequate idea of this address can be obtained except 
by reading it as a whole ; but simply to illustrate its power 
of thought and diction, its marvelous word-painting, ant! 


its fiery arraignment of the Alton rnob, a few passages 
are here inserted : — 

" Years have elapsed since I enjoyed the hospitality of 
your then infant settlement. Since then I have never 
ceased to feel a lively interest in your prosperity. Most 
gratifying have been the reports of your growing wealth 
and commerce, and especially of your liberality, correct 
morals, and enlightened public sentiment. Should the 
domestic institutions of bordering states ever enfeeble in 
them the spirit of freedom, among you, it was hoped, she 
would still be found vigorous and hardy as your own giant 
youth. Against the invasion of servile sentiment, here, it 
was presumed, would be an impregnable barrier — here, 
the rights of man were to find a sanctuary ; the perse- 
cuted of any name, or of however delusive a creed, were 
to obtain constitutional protection. Should the lights of 
American liberty elsewhere grow dim, amid your wild 
cliffs her torch was still to burn, as brightly as on Bun- 
ker's heights or the Plymouth Rock. These anticipa- 
tions, in sorrow, not in anger I say it, are no more. They 
have been most cruelly swept away. The associations 
connected with you, in the public mind, I need not tell 
you, are sadly, fearfully changed ; the bright colors have 
faded, and dark and dismal and bloody hues are on them. 
A tumultuary, lawless fanatic power, overmastering or 
overawing the civil authority, enslaving public sentiment, 
paralyzing the public conscience, freezing with fear the 
sympathies of even the generous, the intelligent and 
the good, and, with a few noble exceptions, making 
the mind of your whole city hold its breath, and crouch 
in silence before it — ferocity victorious over right, 
brute force over free opinion — a gang of ruffians, 
claiming to be regulators of speech and the press, usurp- 
ing the name of the people, and grasping in the same 


polluted clutch the functions of accuser, judge, and exe- 
cutioner — ' making night hideous' with their loathsome 
triumph, in the presence of unresisting multitudes de- 
molishing buildings, firing your city, publicly murdering 
an American citizen for the crime of exercising rights, 
most sacredly guaranteed to him by the Constitution of 
the United States and the state of Illinois; and finally, 
with fiendish malignity and a meanness more than fiend- 
ish, in violation of their express stipulations, firing upon 
the unarmed and unresisting; such are the images that 
now start at the name of ALTON. Are they mere 
horrid phantoms ? Would to God they were so ! Oh, no ! 
They have left enduring memorials in broken hearts, 
bereaved infancy, and untimely graves. They have left a 
community disgraced, freedom of speech awed into silence, 
and the majesty of law trampled under foot. In the dis- 
honor of the American name, in the wound given to the 
cause of universal liberty, and the outraged feelings of 
mankind, they have left abiding monuments. The muse 
of history turns aside her head and weeps, as she chroni- 
cles in crimson the record. . . . 

"Other towns can often look back with pride to their 
early history, and relumine in the associations of the past 
the waning love of liberty and truth. Boston has her 
Faneuil Hall, Charleston her Fort Moultrie; but Alton 
must wear it upon her escutcheon, in characters as imper- 
ishable as the rocky bluffs around her, that in her early 
youth she crouched before not one but a hundred mas- 
ters ; that, in her, freedom of speech found its first Amer- 
ican martyr ; that she did all that, in her immaturity and 
feebleness, she could do to bury freedom of press, and 
with it the American Constitution, in a bloody grave. 
The sacrifice of life may have been small ; that of prin- 
ciple was mighty. The infamy of it not all the tide of 


coming years, nor the flow of your ever-rolling Mississippi, 
can wash away. . . . 

" The outrage perpetrated among you was one of aggra- 
vated enormity, both as it regards the individual and the 
principles sacrificed. It was no gambler, no ruffian, no 
malefactor defying or evading justice, whose blood is upon 
your hands. It was not a case where an indignant popu- 
lace, in the impulse of an evil hour, inflicted a vengeance, 
due to its object, though rendering its avengers more 
guilty than the victim. It had not even 'the miserable 
justification of those instances where, in a zeal for jus- 
tice, all justice is trampled under foot, and in punishing 
one crime are committed a thousand. It was a man, in 
the eye of human law, without reproach ; a man of un- 
doubted piety, and giving evidence of a devotion, sincere, 
however misguided you may have deemed it, to the great 
cause of human rights ; a man wrong, if wrong at all, 
only in his views of a great moral question, and in the 
fearless expression of those views ; a man who, however 
imprudent or misjudging you may have thought him, you 
must at least acknowledge could not be deterred by self- 
sacrifice, or intimidated by the fury of the multitude, or 
seduced by popular opinion from supposed duty, but who 
dared in the assertion of the right even to die, — it is for 
shedding the blood of such a man that mankind holds you 
responsible. There were, too, at stake, not individual 
rights only, but vast principles. Whether our general 
and state constitutions, with their solemn guaranties, 
should be of sovereign authority, or a mere splendid 
delusion and a snare, was in controversy. Moreover he 
who strikes at freedom of speech is guilty of treason, not 
only to his country, but to his kind ; he strikes at the 
great means to the ultimate triumph of truth, and the 
anticipated improvement of the human race. It is these 


considerations — that the atrocity committed among you 
was provoked by no crime; that you made, as far as you 
could, a solemn oblation of the principles of universal 
liberty and of the future hopes of the race upon the same 
ensanguined altar — which sink your hitherto fair fame 
far below the infamous murders of Vicksburg and St. 
Louis. . . . 

" It is vain to attempt to shift the blame by impugning 
the motives and previous conduct of the sufferer. To 
degrade him, were it in your power, would not exalt you ; 
it would only add to the ' deep damnation of his taking 
off' the coward malice that seeks shelter behind the 
carcass of his victim. To term him 'rash,' 'headstrong,' 
and 'imprudent,' is the strongest sentence of self-condem- 
nation you can utter. Why was it ' rash ' or ' imprudent ' 
to exercise the most sacred of American or human rights 
— freedom of speech — in Alton ? Was it because he 
ought to have known that there was not law, nor con- 
science, nor patriotism, nor intelligence, among you to 
protect him ? And if these elements were not found 
among you, you, and not he, were responsible for their 
absence. Nor do the results, melancholy as they are, 
though they argue your delinquency, necessarily convict 
him of rashness. There are moral as well as political 
conflicts, Thermopylaes where we must make a stand or 
perish — where yielding would be treason to our princi- 
ples, our country, and our race — where it becomes a 
solemn duty to die ! Perhaps nothing less than the shed- 
ding of blood could awaken the conscience and salutary 
fears of this nation, and open its eyes to that dreadful 
Tarpeian on whose verge it is tottering. . . . 

" If we feel inclined to regret that a minister of the 
gospel attempted to defend the rights of the citizen and 
the laws of his country by force, this act should be viewed 


at least with indulgence by those who are wont to regard 
with admiration examples in their own Revolutionary his- 
tory, where the pulpit was exchanged for the battlefield. 
Never was there a cause more sacred than that in which 
he fell. . . . 

" Infatuated men ! how could you see an individual mur- 
dered for the expression of unpopular sentiments, and 
not feel that you were hopelessly binding yourselves and 
your posterity to popular opinions, popular measures, 
popular prejudices, and popular crimes ; in short, never 
to act or speak but with the permission of the popu- 
lace, however degraded or guilt-stained it might be ? Did 
you suppose that Abolitionism was to be the last object 
of popular hatred ? How could you see liberty of speech 
smothered in blood in one instance, and not perceive you 
were creating a censorship over yourselves more jealous, 
fanatical, and intolerable than that of the Chinese or 
Austrian or the Romish despotism — that your own 
souls, the aspirations of your hopes, your own reason and 
love of truth must henceforth whisper, wizard-like, from 
the dust ? How could you fail to perceive that you were 
called upon to witness the obsequies of your own honor 
and the consummation of your own shame — to set your 
seal to the act of your own enslavement and of your deep 
and enduring disgrace ? How could you in retiring to 
your homes look your wives and children in the face ? 
Did you not feel that you had betrayed them ? that the 
same red-handed power that had broken the heart of the 
wife and made the child fatherless might visit your own 
hearths with widowhood and orphanage ; or, at least, that 
they might be secured against such visitation only by 
your becoming passive and pliant slaves, and that to the 
most despicable and brutal of masters ? Should the vio- 
lent and bloody spirit of the times, which you have at 


least tacitly countenanced, permit you to see old age, will 
this be a tale you will be proud to rehearse to your chil- 
dren ? When the frenzy and infatuation of the day have 
had their ensanguined hour, and passion and party are 
silent in the grave, and impartial history shall take up 
the transaction, will your descendants, think you, be proud 
to read your names in connection with the disgraceful 
story ? . . . 

" With reference to the actual perpetrators of the out- 
rage, most of them, we are bound for the honor of the 
American name to presume, were of that refuse of 
society which is wont to cluster around a commercial 
emporium, kenneling unregarded in the grogshop and 
the gambling hell till some demagogue or agitator calls 
them forth to impersonate the people, supersede the laws, 
and take care of the public conscience and public morals. 
Many of them, in charity to the national character, we 
may assume are beneath the reach of an enlightened 
public sentiment, either from an ignorance that can not, 
or a prejudice that will not, read ; or belong to those des- 
peradoes in society to whom the whip, the axe, and the 
halter are the only arguments. Others there probably 
were of slender intelligence and weak moral purpose, but 
of inflammable passions, who, under the influence of evil 
men and mistaken opinion, knew not what they did. 
Such are indeed objects of pity, and upon evidence of 
repentance are not to be excluded from forgiveness, con- 
fidence, and kindness. But such, alas ! were not all. We 
have reason to believe that amid the immediate instiga- 
tors or actual perpetrators of the felony were some whose 
titled names, education enjoyed, profession in life, and 
pride of standing in society, we should have hoped would 
have kept them from such self-degradation — that there 
were those of enlightened conscience and cultivated intel- 


lect, who not only polluted themselves with the foul 
iniquity, but deliberately seduced others into it. With 
reference to such, whether with utter recklessness of 
character appearing openly in the transaction, or skulk- 
ing in concealment and instigating the wretches they 
had not courage to lead — it matters not — language is 
inadequate to the flagitiousness and wickedness of their 
character. That your malignity was too strong for your 
regard to the right, or your love of your country, is per- 
haps no matter of surprise ; but I am surprised that it 
took no counsel of ultimate consequences. The act you 
were committing, by the interpretation of all courts and 
all codes, was murder. Why, in that guilty hour did not 
your good or your evil angel whisper you that, by the act 
you were perpetrating, you were putting yourselves and 
the laws of your country at an eternal issue ? Yes ; 
between them and yourselves there is, and ever must be, 
war to the knife, a war of extermination, in which one or 
the other must perish. Public anarchy and ruin are your 
only safety. Can you expect, can you be so impious as to 
hope, to conquer in such a warfare ? But should you 
prevail, have you yet to learn from the admonitions of 
history that the instigators and leaders of popular frenzy, 
however they may triumph for a while, sooner or later 
feed the Brazen Bull their own hands have reared ? Sooner 
or later themselves are gorged by the anaconda which 
they are wont to caress, and whose hissing they pro- 
nounce excellent music. Did Robespierre and his com- 
peers dream that they were erecting the guillotine for 
themselves ? But did he, or Danton, or Marat, sleep in 
bloodless graves ? . . . 

" Have you yet to learn that there is an avenging Provi- 
dence which often forbids that bloody and violent men 
should make their last bed in peace ! But should you be 


left to the course of nature, are there no furies of the 
guilty mind which the fugitive from human law can never 
escape and which often make the guilty envy his victim 
the repose of the sepulcher ? An American citizen mur- 
dered, a home desolated, a wife widowed, a child made 
fatherless — these are recollections which will not fade 
with the fading excitements of the hour. From these 
you can never flee ; no bars can protect, no concealments 
hide you from them. No flight can leave them behind — 
they are become part of your own souls. 

" The dreadful truth that you are murderers will follow 
you through all your future existence. In whatever 
scenes you may mingle, beneath whatever sky you may 
repose, the grisly accuser will dog you. Though you 
essay to drown its voice in the madness of intoxication or 
in the excitements of deeper and still deeper crime, vain 
will be the attempt. It will await you in the grave. 
Yea ! in the last great congregation the gory phantom 
will start forth and arraign you at the bar of Eternal 
Justice. . . . 

" And what have you gained by all this dreadful and 
guilty self-sacrifice ? Whatever may have been the faults 
of your victim, you have embalmed and canonized them. 
Whatever may have been the defects of his cause, or of 
his advocacy of it, you have done much by your mad act 
to identify that cause with that of freedom of speech and 
American liberty, and you have given its advocate rank 
among the apostles of humanity and martyrs to the 
rights of man ; among the Vanes and Sidneys of other 
times you have insured his name a record, while the 
traducer and the murderer are forgotten in the grave. 
Instead of checking the cause for which he labored, you 
have made the sympathies of this whole nation react 
upon you like an earthquake. You have virtually sur- 


rendered the field of argument by a resort to force. You 
have made the object of your hate a talisman and a 
power worth more to him and his cause than a hundred 
years of life. You cannot bury his shed blood in the 
earth. It will have voice. It will plead louder than a 
thousand presses. From its every drop will spring an 
army of living antagonists. Did you dream that in this 
age you could muzzle free discussion ? You might as well 
attempt to muzzle ^Etna. Did you hope to chain liberty 
of speech ? You might as well lay grasp upon Niagara. 
Did you think to oppose yourselves across the path of 
the lightning and the whirlwind ? . . . 

" Citizens of Alton : If, in any respect, I may seem to 
have put myself in the unamiable and most undesirable 
attitude of a public accuser, it is that I may stimulate 
to sober inquiry into the causes of the past outrage and 
the means of future prevention. This means, melancholy 
experience demonstrates, is to be found only in the firm, 
fearless, impartial, and universal maintenance of law. 
Abolition is not the last of unpopular doctrines, nor do 
we know who or what may next become obnoxious to 
popular odium. Nothing less than the stern enforcement 
of law, irrespective of persons or opinions or circum- 
stances, will prevent persecution, proscription, and mur- 
der without end. This enforcement implies infliction of 
penalties as well as promulgation of commands, and 
involves in your case a melancholy duty with reference 
to the past. The laws have been repeatedly, openly, and 
flagrantly violated among you — a public, premeditated, 
atrocious murder has been perpetrated. The course you 
may take with the offenders will settle the question in 
the eye of mankind, whether you have moral energy and 
political virtue enough remaining to retrieve your dis- 
grace and recover your lost position. God forbid that I 


should cherish towards the unhappy wretches implicated 
any other than feelings of Christian kindness and a desire 
for their repentance ! God forbid that revenge should 
claim a bloody oblation for the shade of the murdered 
Lovejoy ! Vengeance belongs to another hour and a 
mightier hand. But the spirit of slain Justice does walk 
your street and clamor for expiation. Until that be given 
no charm can lay her unquiet shade. She will wander up 
and down your city. She will whisper you in the dark- 
ness of the night. Her sorrowing tones will steal upon 
the solitude of your repose and her gory apparition will 
affright your slumbers. Ages to come her moan will 
resound among your cliffs and rise upon the roar of the 
Mississippi. Unless atonement be made to violated law, 
order and security can never be restored among you — 
not, at least, until a generation unstained by this transac- 
tion has taken your places, and the offenders are beyond 
the reach of human justice." 



Illness at home. — Visit to Logansport. — Death of Mrs. Sarah Hand. — 
Trip through Northern Illinois in 1840. — More as to the Jacksonville 
Congregational church. — The pastorate over it. — Views on systematic 
theologies, ecclesiastical order, terms of communion, and extempore 
preaching. — Visit to Middlebury in 1843, and preaching in the old 
Congregational church. — Ascent of Mount Lincoln. — Death of Governor 

DURING the summer of 1839 there was for the first 
time illness, and, as appears from the mss., danger- 
ous illness, in the Jacksonville home. 

" My dear wife and my eldest boy were both very sick 
at once under the almost suffocating heats of a terrible 
summer, seemingly nigh unto death, and I was, with no 
nurse, no servant, passing from the sick wife upstairs to 
the sick little boy below, attending to and watching both, 
and obliged to keep from the mother the knowledge of the 
sickness of her darling boy, accounting as I could for not 
bringing him into the room. Yet God gives strength for 
the days of trouble, so that they are never perhaps quite 
so dark or desperate as they seem at a distance. Youth, 
health, and hope are strong to bear as well as to do." 

In the fall of this year Mr. Post was in Logansport, 
having driven across the country from Jacksonville. He 
writes Mrs. Post (October 14) : — 

" Five years have fled, and I am here again. The rain 
clouds that heralded and pursued me all the way hither 
seem at last to have parted company with me and left me 
with the sunshine. The pure, cloudless morning breathes 
its spell over water and woodland ; the Wabash and Eel 


rivers sparkle in the distance, and far around glitter the 
stirless forest crests, through which the quiet light streams 
into the silent and solitary wilds beneath. 'T is a morn- 
ing for reflection and imaginative thought; an hour which, 
with me, no less than twilight, ever belongs to the distant, 
the absent, the past, the future, and the dead. From the 
scene before me my eye seems to gaze upon the distant 
west, until its intense vision transcends the horizon and 
descries my sweet wife and sweet babes. Would that I 
could waft over these. vast forests and prairies to you the 
blessings of serene and heavenward thought, of a pure 
and happy heart, that these, my dear Frank, might ever 
be your lot and that of your sweet ones. When I look 
back upon the events of a few past months and think how 
nearly passed by us the stroke that threatened to sunder 
the silver cord which bound our earthly beings together ; 
when I think of the probabilities that then crowded with 
awful force upon my mind, I feel stunned and dizzy, as 
with a fearful dream, and can hardly clothe with substan- 
tial hues what I know was intense and tremendous reality. 
I hope, my dear wife, that what we have felt and thought 
during the past summer may never be forgotten by either 
of us, but may wean us from the dream of this world and 
quicken us to duty and immortal life. 

" I have just walked out amid the bright, still morning 
to where the brother of my childhood and youth sleeps 
his long last sleep. Again the recollections of five years 
since came back ; again the Wabash murmured and the 
forest birds caroled on my ear ; but he still sleeps on : 
for him no bird of morning sings ; for him yon fresh and 
glorious sun shines in vain. Nature smiles, but not for 
him. The woodland is wildly beautiful, but not to his 
sealed eye. The voice of earthly hope and love shall 
steal on his silent ear no more. He sleeps from the land 
of his childhood and the land of his love far away. 


" But I thought — and it was a blessed thought — that 
the spirit was not there, that the dust would not sleep 
there forever; and methought I heard a voice saying, 
1 Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.' A voice too 
seemed to come from the dust before me : ' My brother, 
you still live, while the heart that loved you and the 
tongue that prayed often for you are moldering in silence 
here. If you once loved me, if my memory is still dear, 
improve that life which I can now value and let my early 
death have this fruit, that it may arouse you to your real 
life and to new zeal for your God.' 

" My little nephew, who led me hither, after waiting till 
his little patience was exhausted, said to me, ' Uncle, are 
you thinking now ? There is my father's brother, and 
there ' (pointing to a little grave beside it) ' is my little 
brother. Will they ever come out again ? ' I took the 
little boy's hand, and, he prattling and I ' thinking,' we 
walked from the home of the dead." 

In January, 1840, Mr. Post learned by letter from his 
brother Martin at Logansport, of the death of his mother 
at Ferrisburg, Vt., on December 2d of the previous year. 

During the following summer, traveling with horse and 
buggy in company with Dr. Samuel Adams, of Illinois 
College, he went to Chicago, making a tour on behalf of 
the college through Lacon, Union Grove, Granville, Peoria 
and Ottawa. Near the latter place is " Starved Rock," 
in the Illinois River, somewhat famous in Indian story. 

Of the chapter of experiences of the travelers at this 
place Mr. Post writes from Charleston, Kane County, 
July 30th : — 

" On our way (to. Ottawa) we passed near the Starved 
Rock, lifting itself in solemn and storied grandeur on 
the opposite side of the stream, inviting us to visit it in 


language not to be withstood. A river rolled between us 
and no ford for our wagon appeared. But the spell of 
the place was too strong on us to be resisted. . . . 

" At last we reached the rock and stood — where I pre- 
sume it has seldom been approached before on foot — in 
the dark, shaded waters, right beneath its mighty preci- 
pice. There seemed in it something terrific. The genius 
of the place seemed to frown upon our presumption and 
beckon us back. There was something so fearfully dark 
in the waters that reposed beneath its awful shade, that, 
with the precipice of two hundred feet above and the dark 
river before, and the profound silence (save the noise of 
the stream) around me, I involuntarily shrank back and had 
to reassure myself ; then I plunged in and swam across 
and laid my hand where perhaps none have touched since 
the Indian yell of war rang around the mighty battlement. 
There was from this point a thrice repeating echo whose 
loud reverberations deepened the impression of a living 
and awful Presence. We ascended the rock, traced the 
inscriptions of other wayfarers who have chronicled their 
unknown names on the cedars and the sandstone; took 
our luncheons on the magnificent and far-seeing table of 
its summit, talked of our other days, of the sweet ones we 
had left behind, of our prospects and other topics. It 
was a solemn and delicious hour. We seemed alone with 
memory and hope, with Nature and with God." 

October 8, 1840, Air. Post was ordained pastor of the 
Congregational church of Jacksonville, succeeding Rev. 
William Carter, before mentioned. Though the pastorate 
continued till 1847, Mr. Post was never installed. 

Soon after the organization of the church, a small white 
wooden structure had been erected on the east side of 
the public square. And here he preached during the 


remainder of the stay in Jacksonville. The church was 
largely made up of New Englanders, and attended by 
nearly all of the families of College Hill. For that of an 
infant village, the congregation was a rarely intelligent 
and cultured one. " It numbered " (see discourse of Dr. 
Post at the semi-centennial anniversary of this church in 
1883) "among its members, earnest, intelligent, true- 
hearted, devoted, stalwart men, some bringing much of the 
granite of the Old Rock, some with something of the metal 
of the Cromwellian Ironsides in their veins, to blend with 
the charms of gentle, cultivated, brave and saintly woman- 
hood, in the composition of the infant church." 

The audience room was small and plain. It boasted no 
organ, but its bass viol and 'cello did service as orchestra, 
and the choir embraced voices of rare quality and long 
remembered in that community. The music was wedded 
to sweet and noble church lyrics, and formed a delightful 
feature of the worship. "A more enthusiastic choir," 
writes Mrs. Wolcott, — then Miss Martha Dwight, — 
" never sang the praises of God. For we were inspired 
by the preaching — a new departure from the conven- 
tional theological style, rich in the result of earnest 
thought, and abounding in imagery of the most vivid 
and poetic character." 

The bell which for many years called the flock together, 
and which was afterward removed to the new brick edifice 
on College Avenue, was bought with the proceeds of a 
church concert, and sung its nunc dimittis over the down- 
fall of Richmond, having been broken in the general 
jubilation of the town which followed that event. 

How Mr. Post became pastor of the church is related in 
the mss. : — 

" During the years of my professorship, and down to 
the winter of 1837-38, causes were in progress which were 


to make an important change in my life. The college had 
supposed itself well endowed, or with assurances of such 
endowment, when I accepted the professorship in it ; but a 
terrible financial revolution had come on the country. 
Bankruptcies occurred ; everywhere commerce was dead 
and values had vanished. The endowment of the college 
was largely swept away. My salary had become so 
reduced that it was inadequate even to an economical 
support of my family. My house was unpaid for, and the 
interest on my debt for it was every day accumulating. 
The lands in northern Illinois, and lots in Chicago which 
I had purchased for myself and Oliver Bascom with 
money borrowed by us in 1835 could not be sold, and the 
debt with its interest remained unpaid. Everything con- 
spired to make some change necessary. I must either 
abandon my position and return to the profession of law, 
or add to my income where I was. 

"In one of the anxious days, as I came from my college 
exercises to my home, I found a committee of a dozen or 
so of the gentlemen of the Congregational church await- 
ing me. This committee had called at my house to see if 
I would not ' take license ' and become their pastor. I 
had never had any words with any of them or any of the 
church, previously, on the matter. The call came unso- 
licited, unthought. I felt constrained to take it under 
advisement. It seemed like the hand of God, in this as 
in so many things before, leading me in a way I knew not. 
I had reason to think, from an experience of myself 
through many years unto mature manhood, that I had 
gifts now but partially called forth, which I might and 
ought more to use for his service ; that my life owed more 
to Christ than it was sending ; that I was in a situation to 
combine the new office proposed with that which I was 
already holding. I have always believed that it was every 


way desirable for his own sake, and that of the public, for 
his increased excellency as a teacher, and for the practical 
power of his life, that a professor in a college should, in 
theoretic knowledge, and at least in occasional practice, 
combine his chair in the university with some other imme- 
diately practical profession — that he would thus become 
a larger man, citizen, Christian, and professor. While I 
was intensely interested in my college work, and espe- 
cially in the department of history, in which my labor had 
grown to be a delight and inspiration, the ministry seemed 
more immediately to deal with the truths of the highest 
interest in being, bringing the mind more perpetually into 
the atmosphere of those truths ; and it seemed to be 
favorable to the formation of the highest, noblest and 
most spiritual character — to place one more in commun- 
ion with Christ and his works, and in a pursuit that 
would grow of more and more commanding interest as 
life should wax on toward eternity. 

" Moreover I was conscious that my social relations 
and dispositions were pleasant and kindly, and not such as 
to disqualify for the pastoral service. I had a strong con- 
fidence in human brotherhood, something of its feeling. 

" On the other hand, were there not other paths in life, 
other callings, which equally adapted themselves to my 
mental and personal aptitudes, and which, while caring 
more for financial interest, opened methods of influence 
and benefaction equally, though differently, essential and 
vital to social and political well-being and the triumph of 
the kingdom of God among men ? It is possible too I 
had still some remains of the worldly and political ambi- 
tion of earlier years — dreams, which, however improbable 
and removed from my course of feeling and action, it was 
pleasant to hold as possibilities. Furthermore, my educa- 
tion, though not aloof from theology, had never been 



strictly or exclusively theological, but rather literary, clas- 
sic, legal, historical, scientific. 

"The situation I felt to be solemnly critical. I was 
sorely perplexed. Besides seeking divine guidance, and 
intense personal questioning, I consulted my associates 
and friends, and especially my wife. I felt that she had 
rights in this matter. She had not married me as a 
minister. She was, at the time of our marriage and from 
the habit and training of childhood, intensely attracted, 
by conviction, taste, custom, and social and family rela- 
tionship, to another form of church order than that into 
which I was to enter. But with that true nobility and 
self-sacrifice which ever marked her, and with her sincere 
piety and devotion to Christ rising above ecclesiastical 
predilections or prejudices, and with the beautiful and 
loving devotion of a wife to what she thought was the 
true career of her husban'd, she gave me but one counsel, 
and that was to enter the ministry. 

"After full deliberation I decided that such was my 
duty. I was now thirty years of age, the age for entering 
the priesthood according to the Jewish law, the age of our 
Lord at entering on his public preaching — an age mature 
for me to go forward if I was ever to do so. The Congre- 
gational Association of Illinois — and there was but one 
in the state at that time — was soon to meet at Jackson- 
ville. I applied to them for their recommendation to 
preach the gospel in the ministry. I objected to the term 
'license.' It savored of hierarchy. I refused to accept a 
license, from them or any mortal man, to speak in the 
name of my Saviour, and the Saviour of the world. I 
wished a recommendation — on examination — to Christian 
people, to the churches especially, which they represented, 
as one fitted in their opinion to preach the gospel unto the 
edification of the brethren and the saving of souls, and 



worthy of the confidence of the churches and of Christian 
people. This I asked — nothing more ; I would receive 
nothing more ; they could give nothing more. I repudi- 
ated the term ' license ' in any form of recommendation 
they might give, and wished my statement might be 
spread on the records of the church in order that the sig- 
nificance of the action I was taking might never be mis- 
understood or misconstrued. If they felt it not compati- 
ble with their views or principles to grant my request, I 
should withdraw my application ; perhaps might construe 
it, under the circumstances, as a providential indication 
adverse to my purpose to enter the ministry, but not as 
making it unlawful for me to speak, should any wish 
to hear, whatever, whenever, and wherever it might be 
according to my conscience to speak in the name of 
Jesus Christ my Lord. 

" My paper at first seemed to startle the association — 
seemed likely to prove a firebrand or at least an explosive. 
Had I been young, immature, a stranger knocking at 
their doors, they would have incontinently shut them in 
my face. But I was in mature life — their acquaintance 
and their peer ; I told them I left the matter with them 
to decide, but I was only reaffirming to them their own 
principles. Finally they appointed to examine their stand- 
ards a committee, who, when they met after adjournment, 
reported that it was as I had said. They voted to give 
the 'recommendation,' and to put it on record. It was 
subsequently thought best to join the ordination form and 
service with it, as it was desirable I should immediately 
enter on the duties of pastor." 

Of his pastoral relation thus inaugurated, Mr. Post 
says : 

" I found it on the whole pleasant and beneficial to both 
body and mind. The church was plain, but cultivated 


much beyond the average; a thinking and earnest people, 
some among them men of eminent force. They were 
kind, considerate. The students and, I think, the com- 
munity generally were my friends. The church pros- 
pered in the main. But I think that then and always I 
have wanted in the little managements, the versatility in 
small expedients and policies, which seem to have — and 
fitly — much to do with what is so-called success, and is 
such, as far as numerical increase is concerned. This 
perhaps has been owing to my having been so immersed 
in an ideal life, and to my natural contempt for everything 
that did not seem to me based on substantial merit. 

" I have always been wanting, too, in facility of expe- 
dients and in practiced skill in the Sabbath-school work. 
I think the great drawback has been due to the fact 
that I lived in my childhood in such a region and such 
a period in the history of the Church that I received no 
Sabbath-school training and practice either in childhood 
at home or subsequently at college. So, though fond of 
children and in quick sympathy with them, I have never 
been, as it was very desirable a pastor should be, a 
practical, skillful, and effective Sabbath-school worker. 
Perhaps my education and association have been too 
much, too exclusively in colleges and institutions and 
circles devoted to the higher culture. But my personal 
relations to my church were ever those of cordial affec- 
tion, of free, friendly, companionable, social intercourse." 

Touching creeds and systematic theologies, Mr. Post 
writes in this connection : — 

" I think I did the people good in the way of implant- 
ing germinal ideas and tendencies and seeds of character, 
and, I trust, of right thinking in matters theological, 
though I had never completed a theological course. My 
mind was diverted and forced by my situation and profess- 


orship into other channels. My theology when I entered 
the ministry was still formative ; my master and textbook* 
the New Testament ; my theological seminary and gymna- 
sium, chiefly the pulpit and pastorate and the exigencies 
of preaching and practice. I have had little time for 
speculative or dogmatic theological metaphysics or litera- 
ture. From my historic pursuits I have had to study 
Christianity in the concrete very much more than in the 
metaphysical or the abstract. These facts in my own life 
have been, though not without serious drawbacks, still not 
without serious advantages. My mind has been impris- 
oned by few early commitments and has borne the stamp 
of no theological rabbi or school or party. It has been, 
and is now, free ; and my own early struggles have made 
me more tolerant of individual thought and of abnormal 
thinking in others, where I have found evidences of sin- 
cerity and humility. I have had more sympathy with 
those that, under the prevalent theodicies of the church, 
feel the agony of spirits in prison or in bonds. But 
from these very causes there may have been much that 
was crude and too great a tendency to the apologetic or 
theoretic and too much reliance on the mere intellectual 
element — too much betrayal of the theological genesis 
and speculation of my own mind in the closet or study, in 
the productions of the pulpit. But on the whole I think 
I recognize a divine guidance, having in view my especial 
phase and condition and the exigencies of my work. I 
have been all my life a learner and with ever-increasing 
strength of reliance on the great vital and Christly truths 
and features of Christianity. There is in my mind an 
increasing tendency to a sense of the limitations of my 
certain knowledge,, and a toning down of dogmatism 
or peremptoriness in merely secondary and inferential 
doctrines — the corollaries or deductions in systematic 


Among Mr. Post's papers is one written and signed by 
himself, dated January 15 (and as nearly as can be made 
out, in 1845), evidently answering some communication. 
It will be read with interest in this connection: — 

" My views of ecclesiastical order I believe to agree in 
all essential points with those of the Pilgrim Fathers and 
the early Congregationalists both in this country and 
England. For an expression of these views I refer to 
the Congregational Catechism published at New Haven, 
in 1844. I believe in that treatise are developed the true 
principles of apostolic and primitive church order; and 
the practice of the Congregationalists of New England, 
as exhibited in it, I regard as varying from them in no 
essential feature, though I think some parts of New Eng- 
land in the practice approach nearer those principles than 
others. I also refer to Neander's History of the Church 
during the first three centuries, translated by Rose, pub- 
lished in Philadelphia in 1843, as embracing in Section 
2, pages 102-132, the true principles of ecclesiastical 
order. In regard to ' Terms of Communion ' (on which 
the Catechism referred to seems not fully explicit) I 
believe that Christ invites all true disciples to remember 
him at his table ; nor do I find any authority for man's 
limiting that invitation by any other condition than His 
institution and the very nature and intent of the ordi- 
nance require, namely, true discipleship." 

Through the forty years of his pulpit ministrations 
Mr. Post left no manuscript of sermons in shape for 
publication. A few in later times were published from 
shorthand notes. But of the great mass of them scarcely 
anything remains but disjecta membra, often mere catch- 
words or hieroglyphics undecipherable by any one but 
himself. And it is indeed to be deplored that so much 
of the eloquence and pathos and wondrous imagery and 


" life thoughts " with which his sermons abounded should 
leave a record only in the fugitive memory of those who 
heard him. 

Of extempore preaching and the reasons which led to 
it, he says (mss.) : "I was, at the time I began regularly 
to preach, giving five lectures a week on history. I had 
much study, reading and thinking connected with prep- 
aration for the lectures. I had a scheme of philosophy 
and method and program for the study of universal 
history, which had grown much from my blind days. I 
had a dream of historic authorship and was stimulated 
by seeing miscellaneous attendants, of different profes- 
sions, ages and sexes, gathering from the village at the 
lecture hour into my lecture room. Frequently I was 
compelled, by the state of my finances, to be my own 
hostler and driver and gardener and jobber about the 
homestead. That compelled considerable out-of-door life 
and contributed to sustain health under the mental strain 
and pressure. But I felt I had by my historic lectures 
all the confinement and close use of the eye and hand 
that I could bear. I could not add to these by writing 
sermons. I must use a skeleton and a brief, a sign card 
to guide in arrangement, to hold to unity of subject and 
logic, to suggest leading thought or illustration, to keep 
from drivel or wandering or mere [superficial ?] work — to 
relieve memory, to remove anxiety, to enable the mind to 
act freely and with instantaneous spontaneity, and an 
abandon to theme, thought, emotion, passion of the 
moment, without fear of being drawn off my course, but 
without requiring the confinement or mechanical labor 
of writing or of reading sermons. I had long believed 
that preaching should if possible be by immediate inter- 
course, interchange, interflash between speaker and hearer, 
through eye, posture, feature, gesture. It seemed to me it 


could be done in the pulpit as well as at the bar, and 
should be so done — if it could be well done. It was 
certainly worth the trial, especially as it was evident to 
me I should have to preach in this way, if at all, from 
considerations above-noted relating to health. This has 
always been my ideal of preaching, viz : direct, speaking 
address, but with previous labor, study, thought, reading, 
and writing, in order not to load the memory as for reci- 
tation but to equip and quicken the mind, to make it ready 
and facile, to furnish it with the dialect of the theme; 
to brood the theme into life and passion and power ; to 
insphere and incorporate it with the speaker ; not only to 
carve the statue into symmetry and grace, but to make 
it live, breathe, talk, and love, aglow with idealism, with 
truth lit up, and electric through the spirit of God touch- 
ing the human soul. Such had been my ideal, my aspi- 
ration, if not expectation, my attempt and ambition. I 
must, therefore, make my preparation for the pulpit largely 
under the open sky, in outdoor life and motion, in labor, 
travel, and the scenery of society and nature; in walking, 
working, driving, and brooding — through all combined. 

" I began my preaching with a brief, small as my hand. 
I presume it was feeble as well as small, for although 
I was accustomed to free, extemporaneous address and 
argument, I could not — in the strange circumstances 
of the new position and function, I dared not — give 
myself over to a self-oblivion and an utter commitment 
and abandonment to the theme and the occasion which 
are essential to power. It had only the merit, in regard 
to method and form as a sermon, of a beginning, I 
believe, in the right way ; a way which, I am convinced, 
is the best, if attainable — if the idiosyncrasies of nature 
or culture of the preacher are competent to it. I have 
had many trials, discouragements, conscious failures, in- 


tense self-disgust and mortification, at times shrinking 
from the thought of ever entering the pulpit again ; a 
constant and continual sense of shortcoming, even of 
coming miserably short of my ideal and of the occasion 
and theme and their demands. But I have never aban- 
doned this mode of preaching, and attempted reading, 
without feeling that I was making in practical effect 
failures more miserable still, and without being con- 
strained by my own self-consciousness and the utterance 
of friends, by the faces of my hearers, the aspect of 
assemblies, and by the advice of one in whose taste and 
judgment as in whose sympathy and love I could ever 
trust, to return to the abandoned, though difficult and 
laborious, way. . . . 

" Upon all this preparation for the pulpit there must 
be light and heat and life from a higher world, from com- 
munion with the Invisible and being possessed by the 
constraining love of God and man." 

In 1843 Mr. Post with Mrs. Post and the three children 
took the first trip back to Middlebury, and there he 
preached a number of times in the old Congregational 
church ; and Mr. Roberts, in his memorial address hereto- 
fore referred to, says of these sermons and their delivery : 
" The fashion was new to the drowsy crowd that had so 
long sat in cushioned ' ease in Zion ' giving at best an 
enforced attention to the regulated rise and fall or mono- 
tone of the minister's reading. And a very effective 
fashion it was if I may judge from the account given me 
by an enthusiastic freshman in a letter to me, November 
7, 1843 : 'Your friend Post,' he writes, 'was here two or 
three weeks after this term commenced. He has now 
returned to his station in Illinois. His sermons were 
some of the finest productions I ever heard. They were 
admired by every one that listened to them. His ges- 


tures and whole manner are coincident with the grandeur 
of his imagination, which indeed 'bodied forth the forms 
of things unknown.' I would give more for his powers 
of mind untutored than for all the acquired powers of a 
Noah Webster. He had nothing but the heads of his 
discourse before him. Such displays make me sick of 
delving among Greek roots and Latin exceptions. So 
much for your old classmate by a green freshman." 

During this visit, a two days' excursion was made 
with Governor Slade and Messrs. Ira Stewart and Philip 
Battell, through Lincoln township and up "Potato Hill" 
(now known as Mount Lincoln), the trip embracing a 
long climb, full of adventure, for many hours without 
water, and a night passed on one of the shoulders of the 
mountain, under the open sky, with no shelter from the 
keen air but a rocky ledge and blanket and a fire of pine 
logs. The final ascent was made with the dawn, and was 
rewarded with a cloudless and magnificent view. 

Mr. Post writes after his return to Jacksonville (Octo- 
ber 27, 1843) : " I have had one splendid dream of Lincoln 
since I returned, and two on my way out here. I regard 
the impressions and recollections of that expedition as 
alone worth my visit to New England. I turned and gave 
the mountain one long, lingering look as I passed in the 
stage through Whiting, and its solitary top, amid lesser 
peaks that columned up the eastern sky, wore on its 
extreme peak a crown of black cloud. I looked, and then 
it faded from my view, till when ? " 

January 15, 1844, chronicles the death of Governor 
Duncan, the first friend of Mr. Post in Jacksonville; the 
one on whose advice he came to that place. Touching 
the death of Governor Duncan is the following extract 
from a letter, dated December 23, 1884, written by Dr. 
Post and published by Mrs. Julia Duncan Kirby in con- 
nection with a sketch of her father's life. 


" I shall never forget that night nor the figures and the 
grouping around that bed of death. The night winds 
were out, and there was a stir in the elements, as seem- 
ingly in sympathy with the hour when a great and strong 
soul was departing. The blasts came in gusts, fitfully, 
now sighing and sobbing, and now with loud and mighty 
wail sweeping through the forest and shaking the 
window casements. 

" It was the last hour. The sword given him by an 
admiring and grateful country hanging on the wainscot- 
ing over the bed of death, and all the tokens and hopes of 
mortal fame, what were they all at that hour to one from 
the heavens and the earth forever passing away ; one con- 
sciously in the outdrift of the eternities ? That form of 
grandest manhood, strongest and noblest of all its physi- 
cal types that were grouped around him in that chamber 
and seemingly assuring its possessor of the longest life, 
was in the wrestle with death, sinking lower and lower 
into the everlasting silence. 

"And now the last words have been spoken, the last 
look given to his loved wife and the sad faces around him ; 
the communion with time and earth is over, all save one 
utterance. Just as the pale, silent seal was set, I asked 
him : ' Governor Duncan, is Christ precious to you at 
this hour ? ' Brokenly, but to our hearing distinctly, 
came the response, the last words spoken by him till the 
earth and sea give up their dead : ' Ever precious, ever 
precious.' And so the soul of our prince and brother 
passed to his Father and God." 



Address in 1844 on "The Heroism of the Democratic Ages," and trip to 
Lebanon, 111. — Contributions to The Biblical Repository on "The 
Immortality of the Soul." 

IN August, 1844, at Lebanon, 111., and before the 
Alumni Association of McKendree College, Mr. 
Post delivered an address on "The Heroism of the Demo- 
cratic Ages." According to his practice in such cases he 
spoke from loose notes, and afterward, at the request of a 
committee from the association, wrote them out in full 
for publication ; and the address was subsequently printed 
and distributed in pamphlet form. 

Of his trip, which was a decidedly roundabout one, by 
way of Naples and St. Louis, and of a visit to the latter 
place, which may have remotely brought about his call 
to the St. Louis pulpit, he writes from Lebanon, August 
20th : — 

" I went to Reuben Knox, where I was domiciled. On 
Sunday I preached, morning and at night, for the Third 
Presbyterian Church. Was sent for by Mr. Bullard to aid 
him at four o'clock, but I had a sick headache ; indeed if 
I had been at Jacksonville I should not have attempted to 
preach at all. But I had been advertised in the papers 
the night before and there seemed a necessity. It hurt 
my head less, however, to preach than to read the hymns. 
I got through after a while. Preached from the text, 
' What shall it profit a man ? ' etc., to a large house, I 
hope to their good, for the effort was painful to me. 


" I left St. Louis on Monday morning at eight o'clock, 
passed through Illinoistown, along a road that four weeks 
since had been submerged in ten or fifteen feet of water. 
The appearance of the houses, to which some of the occu- 
pants have returned, and in which many are suffering 
from sickness and destitution, is sad. Rode to Belleville, 
through dust of which I never saw the like, and through 
heat that, combined with dust, almost made us desperate." 

Following are some of the leading thoughts in the 
Lebanon address : — 

" The great social feature of the era on which we are 
entering is Democracy — universal political equality. . . . 

" Many have supposed that we are entering upon an era 
of great nations and little men ; that man socially is to be 
mighty, but individually mean and mediocre ; that the 
ages of heroic passion are past, those of equable comfort 
and tame mediocrity and petty agitation are entering. 

" I wish, on this occasion, to raise the question whether 
or no such speculations are founded in a sound philosophy 
of human nature and of the progress of society ? Must 
greatness of individual character perish in the consum- 
mation of the democratic tendency of modern society? 
. . . Upon raising the inquiry, What is to be the heroism 
of the democratic ages ? one obvious answer suggested 
by the aspect of those ages, and indeed implied in their 
very definition, is that it is not to be of the order of the 
past. . . . 

" While we exult in the cheering sunrise of the coming- 
era, we feel that we stand amid the sober twilight and 
solemn shadows of one that is just dying. Its order of 
grandeur and beauty disappears from history ; its mighty 
and its fair are fast fading in the past to come no more. 
. . . The broken spear and helm and shield have fallen 
with family arms on the graves of forgotten heroes. But 


the broken wall and fallen battlement and defaced armor 
and mutilated marbles and violated tombs are memorials 
not only of a buried age but of a buried civilization — of 
a style of thought and feeling and manners that have 
perished in giving birth to the present ; and the great- 
ness that leads on that order of civilization has perished 
with it. The heroes of elder story and eloquence and 
song are gone, and the broken sword and lyre molder 
together on their graves. 

"The future opens on us with a perspective of human 
society presenting one vast ocean level, which, though 
ever and anon ridged by tempest or upheaved by earth- 
quakes, permits nothing permanently to rise above itself. 
The ' castled lord and cabined slave ' have gone forth from 
their habitations and have met and blent. The castle is 
a ruin, the cabin has disappeared. No individual starts 
into individual or social prominence from an hereditary 
eminence of influence and power that of itself makes him 
by birth a bulwark or a scourge of a nation. 

" Other orders of heroism too, kindred to that of the 
aristocratic sentiment, though not identified with it, have 
disappeared. No Achilles or Alexander or Cceur de Lion 
or Bayard can find place in modern civilization. The 
heroism of chivalry and physical prowess vanishes before 
the advancing art and the new instrumentalities of war. 
And the heroism of war itself, we may hope, is destined 
soon to fade away before the progress of civilization and 
Christianity. The 'noise of battle' and 'the garments 
rolled in blood,' with the tourney and knightly mail, will, 
we trust, soon be numbered amid the characteristics of a 
past civilization. . . . 

"The idolatry of naked or wicked intellect, too, is 
passing away. Mankind are learning that intellect 
apart from virtue is but a shame to the individual and 


a curse to the race — that strength is not greatness, nor 
splendor divinity. . . . 

" Thus as we look over society the past forms of indi- 
vidual greatness are everywhere vanished, the individual 
disappears — the monarch, the baron, the warrior, the 
idols of mere eloquence or philosophy or song are gone. 
The masses enter. The millions alone are great. . . . 

"Now, as heretofore, the agitation of great principles 
and vast moral interests produces great men ; and my 
hopes for the future lie in the fact that it seems to me 
thick with the agitation of the mightiest questions and 
the conflict of the mightiest principles that can stir the 
soul of man. . . . 

" It is obvious that in achieving the destiny appointed 
to it in heaven society must wage to a successful consum- 
mation the battles already begun of liberty, truth, and 
love, and that in the events and interests of these con- 
flicts the future history of man is bound up ; in these, all 
the vast, intense, spirit-stirring crises of coming times are 
to be found. It is my conviction that these conflicts are 
to make the coming ages the heroic ages of time. . . . 

" The battles of humanity are to be fought hereafter on 
a wider field and with mightier forces and under different 
banners. Not confined to section or school or sect or 
nation or race or clime, they are to embrace universal 
man, fused by an intense, rapid, and all-pervading intelli- 
gence into a single republic of principle and opinion. 
The theater is to be enlarged, the interests vaster, and 
the actors themselves, it would seem, would naturally 
assume a loftier stature and a mightier strength. . . . 

" Amid the confusion and darkness and alarm of a 
transition period, like the present, while I see an old 
world passing away and another being born, though I can- 
not yet clearly discern the form and structure of that new 


creation, I see a glorious triad of organic forces that are 
destined to rule the confusion and create the new order. 
This triad are Liberty, Truth, and Love. They are to 
lead on the great enterprises of Christian civilization. 
Their triumph over slavery, falsehood, and selfishness is 
to make the final and most glorious chapter in the history 
of time. But this triumph, before it is fully achieved, 
will require many noble and gifted and beautiful and 
brave and hallowed spirits to become heroes and martyrs 
in its behalf. Though already the glorious issue of this 
conflict is recorded in the book beside the Throne, for 
ages its cause on earth may lie through darkness and 
tears ; but the enterprise is in movement. Already is its 
reveille beating through the world and calling for heroes 
— heroes of the soul and of God. 

" I see abroad among the nations that spirit that nerved 
the arm of the warrior and inspired the lay of the poet 
and touched the orator's lips with fire in the once 'bright 
climes of battle and of song,' whose trumpet voice in 
elder times shook the mountains of Hellas and the 
yEgean Isles, 

And fulmined over Greece, 
To Macedon and Artaxerxes' throne, 

and made the marbles of the Eternal City tremble in the 
days when she was eternal — who, in the retrospect of 
far-gone ages, is seen raising her trophies on Marathon or 
Salamis, at Thermopylae, bending in tears over the dust 
of heroes, or leading the triumph up the proud Capitoline. 
It is the Spirit of Liberty, youthful, vigorous, and enthu- 
siastic as in her ardent prime ; not as she was worshiped 
in ancient Greece, or revealed herself in the austere wolf- 
nursed genius of the Seven Hills, the tutelar goddess of 
the Few that in her name trampled on millions of slaves 


and robbed and ravened through the world ; not the bar- 
baric independence of the Goth, or the partial, haughty, 
anarchical freedom of feudalism, or the God-defying 
cannibal liberty of atheism, or the wild fanatic liberty 
of the destructive, or the ferocious, blind, lawless liberty 
of the mob, but liberty enlightened, humanized, Chris- 
tian ; the handmaid of order, the guardian of rights, 
reverent of law, submissive to God ; not sectional or 
partial, of a caste or a race, but a child of human nature 
and the Christian faith, and embracing in her scope all to 
whom that nature and faith attach. 

" She has heretofore often been of a dark, malign, 
haughty, and ferocious aspect, often a mad, eyeless, and 
cruel force, lifting herself, like a Briaraeus, beneath moun- 
tain masses of wrong ; and the nations have shuddered at 
her grim visage and many-handed strength. But Chris- 
tianity has breathed on her. She has heard the voice 
of Jesus, and the frenzy has left her eye and brain, 
and she is putting on an aspect of serene and celestial 
beauty. . . . 

" Her battles heretofore have chiefly been with the 
tyranny of the one, and the despotisms of force, politi- 
cal or ecclesiastical. She has henceforth to conflict with 
the tyranny of the millions, and despotism that wields a 
moral oppression. She has shown herself superior to the 
sword of power ; she must triumph over the terrors of 
opinion. She has ceased to crouch before thrones ; she 
must learn to stand erect in the presence of majorities. 
The principles of physical and political liberty have, to 
a great extent, triumphed and taken possession of the 
theory, if not of the practice, of society. Those of moral 
and intellectual liberty are yet to be vindicated. But that 
she will ultimately triumph universally, God has uttered 
his decree in prophecy and providence. She will not 


have accomplished her mission until she has thoroughly 
pervaded and mastered universal humanity. . . . 

" I see another dominant power at work down the 
coming ages ; a power of which liberty is but the pioneer 
and precursor, commissioned to prepare her way and 
secure her free course, that she may ' run and be glori- 
fied ' ; a power that bears on the car of the highest; 
whose 'motion as when the lightning flasheth,' and whose 
'voice as when the thunder speaketh,' were symbolized on 
Eylaeus' banks, in the prophet's vision of the cherubim. 
That power is Truth. Truth, not as, in a golden dream, 
she descended on the Grecian sage and partially un- 
veiled her dazzling beauty (whereof he affirms that could 
we see her as she is, we should be wonderfully ravished 
with her loveliness) ; not as she walked Ilissus' banks, or 
the shades of Tusculum, or informed the eloquence that 
shook Cecropia or the Forum, or inspired the muse that 
wandered the Delphic steep, or Ionian Isles, or on the 
Palatine bowed in the temple of the god of light ; but 
the voice of that divine Word, from the beginning speak- 
ing but unregarded in the heart of man, — in the world 
and yet not known of it, — which uttered its solemn 
revelation to the Chaldaean wanderer and his descend- 
ants on the plains of Mesopotamia and Syria, under the 
shadows of the throne of the Pharaohs, in the Arabian 
Desert, and amid the mountains of Judaea, which spake 
in the burthen of the prophet and the rapture of the 
Psalmist and in the earthquake and thunderings of Sinai. 
But her fullest, mightiest, sweetest eloquence and her 
vision of divine beauty comes forth from Calvary, the 
Truth of the Cross, — truth of the justice dazzlingly pure, 
the love stronger than death, the forgiveness stranger 
and sweeter than song, of our God ; that ' he can now 
be just and justify him that believeth in Jesus.' This 


is the truth that is to subdue and hallow and charm the 
world. . . . 

" Another power I see amid the coming ages, demand- 
ing and creating heroes — the most glorious, most divine 
of the triad ; without which the others are objectless, 
dead, impossible — apart from which Liberty could not 
subsist, and would be a curse if she could ; and Truth 
could not conquer, and would be valueless if she did — 
a spirit of transcendent might and beauty descending 
from the skies and walking among men ; the vitalizing 
principle of the universe, the life of the human soul, and 
of the very essence of God. It is Love. . . . 

" It is that love whose birthplace is in the bosom of 
God and embraces all God's children — which descended 
from heaven in the person of his Son, and bore our sor- 
rows and healed our sickness and visited our loathsome- 
ness and guilt and ruin, and finally through death wrought 
our eternal peace ; a love which, while nature was wres- 
tling with mortal agony mid the scoff and hate and blas- 
phemy of a world for which it died, while the rocks were 
rent and the sun was darkened and the graves opened, 
and God hid his face, and death and hell seemed to have 
power — from far down the valley of the shadow of death,, 
whither the meek and mighty One was passing, uttered 
itself in the voice, ' Father, forgive them, they know not 
what they do.' Here is the greatness of Love — the 
heroism of a God. 

" Such, in ages since, has ever been the character of 
her greatness and the condition of her triumph ; mighty 
in patience, lofty in meekness, irresistible by gentleness, 
omnipotent by suffering, glorious in humility, she prevails 
by yielding, overcomes by forgiving, conquers by dying. 
... In the fact that the coming era is to be truly and 
intensely Christian I read both the assurance and the 


cast of its greatness. Jesus Christ is to be the model of 
greatness to coming men, the model hero of human his- 
tory, the realized ideal of the human soul. . . . 

" Young gentlemen, it has not been my object, in 
addressing you on this question, to indulge in idle specu- 
lation or beguile the hour with fanciful conjectures. . . . 
But I have wished to direct your effort to that greatness 
which the coming age will demand, will value and reward. 
The man who, at the present epoch, harnesses himself to 
such conflicts as engaged the heroism of former times 
will find he has as much mistaken his age and civilization 
as if he were to go into the battles of the nineteenth 
century, lightning and thundering with firearms, with the 
bow and mace and mail of the thirteenth. The man who 
does not fasten himself to a Christian order of greatness 
dooms himself to oblivion or infamy. The era of physi- 
cal, artificial, ideal heroism is passing away ; that of moral 
grandeur is hastening on. The glory of the past is often 
but the 'rusted mail that hangs a hatchment over the 
champion's dim and moldering tomb,' or, like that dead 
world seen by Ezekiel, where lay Egypt and Elam and 
Tvrus and the daughters of the famous nations, with all 
their multitude around their graves, a land of silence and 
the shadow of death, where lies the hero on his broken 
sword and the bard on his silent lyre, and Oratory and 
Philosophy and Empire, of an elder world, are but dim 
and silent shadows bending like Niobe over their mighty 
slain. . . . 

" May yours be the honor that comes not from the 
acclaim of the million or the glorification of sect or 
party or the passing hour, but the approbation of the 
'still small voice' of conscience, and the verdict of the 
dying hour and of the last great tribunal — that honor 
which, when earthly grandeur shall be but an ill-remem- 


bered dream, shall have a lyre and crown in the skies, and 
amid the new heavens shine forever as brightness amid 
the stars of God." 

In The Biblical Repository for October, 1844, appears 
an article on " The Evidence from Nature of the Immor- 
tality of the Soul," which will be read with interest in 
connection with essays on the same and kindred topics 
appearing in The New Englander ten years afterwards, 
and to which reference is made later on. 

The argument for immortality is not based, like those 
of the Pythagorean or Stoic or Peripatetic schools, on 
physical grounds, such as the indivisibility and immateri- 
ality of the soul. "The necessary immortality of a created 
being is an absurdity. God alone hath it and all other 
beings are or are not as he wills." The argument is predi- 
cated upon moral grounds ; on the existence of a rational 
and benevolent and just Ruler of the universe, who has 
created and, if he will, can perpetuate the soul. "God has 
assured to the soul another life ; inasmuch as he has 
assured it he is reasonable — the perfection of reason. 
He has declared this to it by giving it a reason — one 
which irresistibly requires and expects order and congruity 
in the universe — a correspondency of ends to means — 
and then demands an adequate end for the human soul. 
. . . He has created here a capacity for endless progress, 
an intellect susceptible of infinite enlargement ; a moral 
nature capable of Godlike virtue and glory, of sympathies 
and emotions that can embrace the unseen and everlast- 
ing, and, by a discipline of threescore years and ten, he 
has been educating these faculties to higher excellence 
and power. By a life of struggle with pain and hardship 
and grief and temptation he has been schooling the soul 
to habits of patience and courage and self-mastery and 
faith, and subduing it to gentleness, meekness, and love; 


and by the expansion and excitation of its faculties, has 
been waking in it the feeling infinite, that reaches through 
the dark frontier of the visible after the divine and ever- 
lasting. Do not all these indicate aptitudes that reach 
into another world ? or has he through this process 
plumed and renewed the soul for a higher flight and 
wider sphere and angelic rapidity of progress, merely 
that in mid-career, with eye and pinion strained towards 
immortal destinies, it should drop at once sheer down the 
steep of everlasting nothing? . . . 

"The eye implies the light, the fin the water, and the 
wing the air ; and, taught of God, it inquires, What does 
the soul of man imply ? Where shall it find its end ? 
in its own earthly life ? in powers accumulated to be 
destroyed? virtues disciplined to annihilation? capacities 
"for active enjoyment expanded for eternal blasting ? an 
eye created and opened on God's sun to be quenched in 
eternal darkness ? the wing of a seraph, nerved and 
plumed and taught to scale the celestial height, merely 
to sink fluttering in vain mid eternal chaos and night ? 
. . . Again the human mind may be assured that God 
wills the soul's immortality because he is benevolent. . . . 

" In assuring me that he delights in happiness, he has 
assured me that it is his will that the mighty capacity for 
happiness often developed by the human soul just before 
death, which, by a life of intellectual and moral enlarge- 
ment, by the disciplining of the passions, and the perfect- 
ing of the virtues, has attained an angelic vastness, shall 
not be quenched forever in the grave. Surely a God 
delighting in happiness would not wantonly annihilate 
such an infinitude of happiness as was prepared for in 
the mind of a dying Newton or Paul. . . . 

" Again the human soul might insist, ' God has prom- 
ised me immortality by informing me he is just.' He has 


thus informed me by placing in me a conscience, and the 
laws of my nature compel me to regard the God and 
Father of my conscience as just. I am constrained to 
believe that he regards right and wrong with the same 
emotions that he has constituted me to feel ; that there 
is in his mind the same feeling of indignation at wrong 
and of the fitness of punishment as its natural comple- 
ment ; and the same painful sentiment of violated moral 
order till retribution overtakes impenitent guilt, and hap- 
piness and honor reward suffering virtue. And as he 
has power to secure this result my moral sense becomes 
to me his declaration that somewhere and at some time 
all wrongs shall be righted, all moral acts meet a due 
reward, and moral order be vindicated. In earnest ex- 
pectation of this vindication ' the whole creation groaneth 
and travaileth in pain until now.' Yet it comes not 
now or here. But the voice of God within me, assuring 
me it shall come, points me to another life for its 
consummation. . . . 

"In the whole circle of falsehood that the most abject 
and abhorred superstition ever fabled is there one more 
hideous or more monstrous than those which the credul- 
ity of skepticism has here embraced ? Strange that men 
can so believe, and still stranger that they can glory in so 
believing! ' Methinks,' one might remonstrate, 'could I 
come to such a view of God and the destiny of the human 
soul, it would impend constantly over me like a horrid 
dream, too horrid for words — as some dreadful, abhorred, 
deadly things, such as men speak of, not in places of glad 
light and life, but whisper with pale lips, in foul, accursed 
glooms, and amid charnel-houses where forms of corrup- 
tion and horror gather on the senses and on the soul. I 
could not haste to proclaim it as some blissful discovery 
to mankind, and call upon my fellows to come and rejoice 


and be exceeding glad with me when I had found the eter- 
nal grave. Methinks I could not triumph to think that 
my soul, with its vast aspirations after the Everlasting and 
Good and Fair and Great, its memory and affection, its 
hopes, its reason grasping after imperishable truth, its 
'thoughts that wander through eternity,' its faith and love 
that had gone forth toward an imagined Holy One, and 
its moral nature capable of wearing immortal glory and 
beauty, was soon to lie down on the breast of corruption 
and cease to be ; that heaven, the mourner's dream, the 
martyr's goal, the pilgrim's home, the life-hope of suffer- 
ing virtue, had become to me a dull, meaningless word, a 
beautiful mirage vanished from the illimitable desert of 
being ; that the loved ones that have faded away from my 
side, who still rise in the dreams of memory and sleep, 
are utterly perished ; that the mighty and gifted and holy 
dead of past time are now nothing. Methinks, if I could 
come to such a conclusion, it would be in silence and sor- 
row. I would keep the awful secret in my own breast ; 
I would not whisper it to my dearest friend ; I would not 
breathe it in the ear of solitude and darkness. I would 
take my Bible and sit down for one more beautiful and 
happy dream, and then in mercy hand it over to mankind, 
and wait in mute despair till Almighty Accident or 
Tyranny should lay me in everlasting sleep with the 



Misadventures of a trip to Burlington. — Letters and mss. in 1846 descrip- 
tive of Mackinac Island and strange incidents and serious illness there. — 
Scarlet fever at home. 

THE subjoined account of a trip from Jacksonville 
to Burlington, Iowa, is without elate, but narrates 
experiences which must have occurred about the time of 
the Mormon exodus, and it may properly be inserted in 
this connection. It was written by Mr. Post merely for 
the entertainment of his children and without any 
thought of its publication, but it gives a chapter of such 
strange misadventures that it must prove interesting, 
especially to those accustomed only to the present con- 
dition of society and modes of travel in the west : — 

" I had engaged to be in Burlington on the first day 
of January, to dedicate the house of worship of the 
Congregational church there, of which brother Salter 
was pastor. The twenty-fifth of December was a dis- 
agreeable day. The weather had suddenly changed from 
a soft, moist, mild condition to one of severe cold, and 
the day was rough, raw, and unpleasant ; yet I was 
compelled to start on that day in order to meet my 

" Just as I was seated with a pleasant family group 
at an inviting Christmas dinner, the stage horn blew, 
announcing the arrival of the coach at my door, and 
I must rise, say good-by to the company and dinner, and 
hustle myself into the stage. The case was imperative. 


The driver in those days required the utmost haste, and 
he was master of the situation. 'Ready or unready, no 
delay.' This was the first augury auspicating evil for 
the intended journey. The trip to Quincy was through 
raw and chilly winds, and over roads which the access of 
cold had transformed from slush into something like a 
ledge of rough and broken rocks. It was wearisome, 
slow, and comfortless. But we reached Quincy at last 
in some fashion. 

" Arriving there I was met by some friends who en- 
gaged me for a lecture in that place on my return from 
Burlington the week following. 

" The next day I took passage with the mail-carrier 
from Quincy to Nauvoo ; on entering which place I 
encountered a gentleman pretentiously dressed in black 
broadcloth and making quite a display of watch-fob, who 
addressed me with a polite bow : • Stranger, I want to 
invite you to attend a ball here the next New Year's 
evening. It is given in celebration of our victory over 
the Mormons whom we have just expelled and driven 
over the river,' etc. I thanked him, but told him it would 
be impossible for me to attend, as I should on that day 
be in another part of the country. Alas, I little foresaw 
what would be possible or rather would be inevitable on 
that day. 

" Crossing the river to Montrose, I took stage from 
there by way of Fort Madison to Burlington, which latter 
place I reached in due time. Receiving a kindly greeting 
from my dear brother Salter, I enjoyed' with his people 
a pleasant service on the following day (Sunday), but to 
their solicitations for my longer stay and visit, I was 
compelled to answer in an absolute negative, as my 
engagement at Quincy required my immediate return. 

" The next morning was dark with a tempest of wind 



and rain, but I hurried through my breakfast and waited 
for the stage. Whether from the violence of the storm 
or carelessness, it did not call, but had gone and left me. 
Yet I must go ; my engagements compelled me to do so, 
if possible. Mr. Grimes, then a young lawyer, afterwards 
governor and senator, kindly took me in his buggy and 
volunteered to drive me to Fort Madison, or in case he 
did not overtake the stage, then to Montrose. But soon 
after starting the wind changed to the west. The rain 
became snow, and the weather suddenly grew bitterly 
cold. It grew so cold and tempestuous that we could not 
proceed beyond Fort Madison. But there fortunately we 
overtook the stage and I got aboard it. 

" We reached Montrose towards sunset. A crowd was 
massed there of all ages and both sexes, in most miser- 
able plight, from the cold and approaching night, the want 
of public house, or indeed any comfortable house for shel- 
ter or food, and especially from the fact that the violence 
of the wind, which was now blowing from the west almost 
a hurricane, had stopped the ferriage. The crowd was 
huddled together, cold, hungry, bedless, well-nigh shelter- 
less. There was no further progress and the night was 
coming on. I inquired if no one had a boat that foot 
passengers could hire. ' No, stranger ; no one except a 
man down in the grocery yonder.' I received little 
encouragement that he could or would attempt to take 
me across. I found him in a low grocery or drinkery, 
amid gamblers and topers, himself evidently much intoxi- 
cated. To my loudest inquiry the answer was, ' No, 
stranger; I cannot cross in such a time as this ; certainly 
not for you alone.' I told him I could and would find a 
load for him, and forthwith obtained his half-maudlin con- 
sent to undertake to carry us over. I hurried back to the 
crowd and saw a man with two women and a young baby 


that seemed to make the strongest appeal to my sympathy 
or humanity. I took him quietly aside, and told him that 
if he and his company would follow me, I could get him 
across the river. We stole away down to the river and 
committed ourselves to a small craft, a drunken ferryman, 
and a river rushing under a fierce wind with ice-floes and 
white-caps. Before reaching the middle of the river we 
were nearly capsized by the clumsiness of our oarsman 
and the violence of the surge and tempest. But the west 
wind impelled us on and we were approaching the shore 
when we found ourselves suddenly amid the rapidly float- 
ing ice ; running into which our boat whirled broadside to 
the waves, and they came dashing in upon us. I said to 
my companion, ' Take care of the baby ; I will get the 
women ashore.' So, plunging into the river, there about 
waist deep, running with swift tide and floating ice, I took 
one of the women in my arms and carried her to the 
shore. The other was heavier, was very heavy, and stag- 
gering under my burden I thought for a time we were 
about to have a baptism not in the Joe Smith ritual, but 
at length landed her. I then went for my trunk and 
deposited it on the bank. But we had been driven by 
the sale so far from our course that we were now on a 
lonely spot a quarter of a mile from any house, and my 
trunk was heavy and the night was fast coming on ; 
indeed, had already come. I bethought myself of my 
companion whom I had aided and who now might aid me. 
But looking around, I saw him departing, going off into 
the dark without so much as a 'Thank ye.' There was 
nothing to do but to shoulder my trunk as I could and 
trudge on toward the distant light of a house, which, 
wearied and well-nigh spent, after a time I found, and 
then deposited my trunk on the ground and rested. Pres- 
ently I heard footsteps and bethought myself that relief 


might be at hand. Directly, as a man was passing, in my 
blandest tones I said to him, 'I have a very heavy load.' 
He looked up a moment, looked at the trunk, and evi- 
dently taking in the situation, he said, ' I should think you 
had, stranger,' and passed on. Not in the most benevo- 
lent frame of mind, I took up that trunk again and toiled 
on until I came in front of what I could now see was a 
public house. A great crowd was before it, and I could 
see shadows in seesaw and zigzag motion cast upon the 
strongly lighted window. It flashed on me : ' Sure 
enough, here I am. This is the Walpurgis night, the 
anti-Mormon carnival ; and I am in it.' 

" Struggling along amid the crowd, noisy, blasphemous, 
and reeking with whiskey and tobacco, I at last reached 
the vicinity of the bar, where the lordly Boniface was 
doling out his liquors. I asked him if I could get supper. 
The response came out in tones so absolute and peremp- 
tory as forbade all parley or argument, ' No man can have 
anything to eat in this house till the regular supper at 
twelve o'clock.' 

" I saw at once that all appeal was useless. Nothing 
was to be expected from that quarter. I slunk away 
rebuked. As I cast about disconsolate, a happy thought 
struck me. I will find the kitchen and bring my appeal 
to a woman if I can find one there. Acting on this 
thought I gradually worked my way to a room in which 
the landlady was steaming and broiling over a large fire, 
where she was conducting her culinary processes for the 
coming supper for the multitude. I gently approached 
her and caught her attention. I told her I was tired and 
cold and hungry, and did n't belong to the crowd at all — 
was drenched in the Mississippi in carrying two of her 
own sex, who were strangers to me, through the waters to 
the shore ; I asked her if I could not warm myself a little 


by her fire, and get a cup of coffee and a bite of some- 
thing to eat without waiting till past midnight. The 
appeal to her womanly sympathies moved her. She told 
me to take a position behind the door, and she would give 
me a cup of coffee and something to eat, and if I would 
take off my boots she would dry them at the fire for me. 
I need not say I obeyed and was rewarded, and was 
thankful there were women in the world. 

" Somewhat warmed and refreshed, and putting on a 
pair of slippers, I went back into the room of general 
rendezvous — parlor, I may call it by courtesy. Unfortu- 
nately my slippers had been wrought by some kind hand 
in rather fancy colors. As I entered, a fellow ran up 
to me and, looking down on the embroidery, cried out, 
'Those are all-fired things for this business, ain't they, 
stranger ? ' . . . 

" Walpurgis followed. I cannot describe it. . . . 
"At length by some means I secured a room and 
retired, but my room was immediately over the dance 
and general powwow. During the livelong night, which 
was for the most part sleepless, I could think of nothing 
but of the fiddler chased by wolves into a deserted cabin 
in the forest, and pursued so closely that, leaving the 
door open, he ran up a ladder to a chamber above, closing 
the trapdoor behind him, and through a crevice in the 
floor reached the top of the door below, shut in the pack 
of wolves, which had entered in hot chase after him, and 
then fiddled all night while the wolves leaped and howled 

" At length morning came, and I descended into the 
room, which seemed as the wreck of some sleepy hollow 
filled with the debris of last night's carnival, and with 
men lying about snoring off their debauch. I inquired 
of the landlord about the Ouincy stage. To my dismay 


I was told it had not come in on account of the weather 
and the roads. The mail had been brought on horseback. 
I inquired if I could not get a horse to convey me onward. 
'No, stranger,' was the answer; 'while we were at the 
ball last night the Mormons stole half our horses, and all 
that were not stolen have gone in hunt and chase of them.' 
"But I could not remain there with the condition of 
things around me, and I must go on to meet my lecture 
engagement. At length towards noon a wagon loaded 
with boxes of merchandise came along, on which I con- 
tracted to have my trunk carried on to Warsaw, some 
twenty miles distant, and started myself for the same 
place on foot. The weather had changed, and the snow 
was melting and the roads fast becoming slush and mud. 
The walking was slow and toilsome, but in my joy of 
escaping I hurried on cheerily until I began to find my 
boots feeling roomy and airy. I looked down, and lo ! 
the good woman, in her eagerness to dry them, had placed 
the boots so near the fire that she had burned them, and 
now they had split open. Here was a case beyond previ- 
sion or provision. But there was nothing to do but splash 
and hobble along with them as I could. . . . 

"At the close of the day I reached Warsaw, most 
dilapidated and demoralized. 

" Soon persons came to the hotel and wished me to 
preach for them in a religious service they were holding 
that evening. I pointed to my bedraggled and demolished 
condition, and told them that I was much of the condition 
of David's messengers, whom he had sent to Hanun and 
who on their return had to hide themselves for a season. 
However, my trunk arrived presently, and as I had ever 
felt it a duty to preach when I was asked and was able, 
and believed it might be of service to the cause of Christ, 
I endeavored to do so on that occasion. 


"The next day I hurried on by steamer to Ouincy and 
delivered my lecture ; and in the hospitable home of my 
pleasant friends, the Denmans, I supposed the troubles 
of my journey were at an end. They were themselves 
to drive on the morrow over to Jacksonville. 

" And we did start on the morrow, but a snowstorm set 
in, and the thermometer fell to fourteen degrees below zero. 
We floundered on through the storm and the drifting 
snow as far as Griggsville ; started on the next morning 
in the same fearful temperature, but found the Illinois 
River impassable, frozen so as to stop all ferriage, but not 
with uniform thickness sufficient to make it practicable 
for passage over. 

" Driving up and clown the river some six miles in 
quest of some place for passage, we could find none, and 
my friends were obliged to retrace their course some forty 
miles in the terrible cold, leaving me on the banks of the 
river. There was near by a steamboat which had been 
surprised by the sudden cold and lay in the middle of the 
river icebound. I managed to get on board of her and 
by means of small boats and planks and cutting ice, I 
succeeded, in connection with others who like myself 
felt they must get across, in reaching the eastern shore of 
the Illinois River. There my special difficulties termi- 
nated, and with them this story ends." 

In the summer of 1846, Mr. Post, with some friend 
whose name is not given, is making a tour through 
Springfield and Lebanon and the adjacent region (perhaps 
in the interest of the college), and is sojourning for a day 
or two with Rev. Mr. Eliot, at the village of Washington, 
a hundred miles away. 

In a letter to Mrs. Post (August 13), he writes : — 
"Sad were the thoughts — as at such times they 


always are — when I turned away from my sweet home 
and its loved inmates; but I committed you unto Him that 
careth for us, and I feel a delight in thinking you are in 
His hands. Anxious thoughts will arise at times. I 
think some of you may be ill, and I not there, and that 
sorrowing thought may go after the husband and father. 
But it is sweet to think our heavenly Father is with you 
ever and knows all your trials and hears the prayer or 
sigh of pain that may come from the lips of any of 
you. . . . 

" Oh, the months and years ! How they have glided 
with noiseless silken wings away ! How fast and far 
they have borne us onward! Beautiful days! they have 
led us far and gently toward the sober eventide, the 
parting hour, the solemn night ; but, oh, the thought, 
dear thought, that beyond the line of darkness is a world 
of light where we and our sweet little ones may walk to- 
gether in unfading light forever ! Let us labor while the 
light of this life is around us to secure the certainty of 
that meeting. . . . 

" Tell my dear children to remember above all earthly 
things I wish them to become sincere and earnest lovers 
and followers of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

A few days afterwards Mr. Post was in Mackinac Island, 
from which place he writes (August 19) : — 

" I have just returned from a walk upon the heights 
along the fort ; and as I sat and mused with my eye 
wandering over the beautiful waters, my look and thought 
went far southward, and my fancies traversed the twilight 
space and pictured to me my sweet eyrie far, far away 
with the mother bird and the darling birdlings, and I 
wished I could be there to kiss my good-night, or that you 
were here beside me to enjoy and feel what I did." . . . 


The stay of Mr. Post on this island furnishes a chapter 
of quite remarkable events, which are narrated in the mss. 

" Soon after my landing and taking quarters at the 
hotel in the village, I was summoned to the Mission 
House with a hasty request that I would call there and 
see a lady who knew me and wanted to see me, as she 
was sick and among strangers, a little nurse alone being 
her companion. On going there I found it was Miss 
Joanna Smith, a very pleasing, intelligent, and cultivated 
young lady, who for a time had been the soprano in 
my choir in the church in Jacksonville. She had been 
through Lake Superior with a company ; had been taken 
sick on the voyage with a species of typhoid fever, and 
had been compelled to stop off at Mackinac. William 
Cullen Bryant and William B. Ogden had stopped and 
cared for her for a while, but both had been called home 
by hearing of sickness there, and my friend was now 
among strangers. Her sickness seemed nigh unto death 
and was attended by strange hallucinations, some of 
which were so frightful that the ladies of the hotel who 
took care of her dared hardly remain in the room with 
her. . . . 

" One day I had been down bathing with Captain Casey, 
then in command of the fort, when word came that Miss 
Smith was near to death and would not live to see the 
sun, which was then declining, set ; and, omitting our cus- 
tomary walk, we hastened to the hotel and found her 
expecting to die and wishing to make her will. As there 
was no lawyer on the island I had to take the place of 
one and drew up the will. I spent the afternoon in doing 
it and getting her signature. Possibly that memorial of 
that hour may yet be found undestroyed. She did not 
die. The disease took a favorable turn that night ; but 
I was chilled, having sat in the open draft of the room 



through which the wind was blowing for hours, while I 
was writing out the instrument. Afterwards I had wan- 
dered forth on the shore of the lake, with the solemn, sad 
stars looking down from the deep azure of the heavens 
and talking to me as seldom in my life. They seemed to 
be watching and weeping over the untimely death of that 
young, bright life. I returned to the hotel ; a congestive 
chill set in ; I fainted away in the parlor and have only a 
dim recollection of being borne upstairs and having cold 
water dashed on my head all through the night ; and for 
some days I was quite prostrated in my bed, unable to 
move. So I and my friend were sick there together. 

" But meantime help was coming from another quarter. 
On the next steamer were Mrs. Charles Williams, of 
Chicago, aunt of my patient, who, hearing of her niece's 
case, had come to take care of her. She now had us 
both on her hands. I knew her slightly but pleasantly. I 
immediately felt the power of her presence as of a spirit 
of sweetness and life and peace. Her presence in the 
sick-room was wonderful. Her touch and tone had a 
magic, a personal magnetism, such as I have rarely found 
among men or women. A friendship arose between us 
that ended only with her life. With her influence and 
that of the light and air of the place, my natural life force 
soon reacted, and in a fortnight I was able to travel, and 
leaving my friends there until Miss Smith had recovered 
more strength I returned home." 

In addition to his own sore experiences during the trip 
Mr. Post on his return home found there, and now for the 
second time, the shadow of great anxiety and distress. 

The mss. continue : " I was met by persons who, with 
solemn and commiserating faces, informed me that there 
was ' serious sickness ' at my home. Scarlet fever was 


there in a most malignant form, but it was hoped it would 
not prove fatal. I found it all the sad faces led me to 
foreshadow. Three of my children were attacked by the 
dreaded scourge. The daughter, my eldest, slightly ; the 
two boys — these were all the boys I had at that time — 
were terribly stricken, seemingly near to death. My dear 
noble wife was bearing up bravely, but much worn with 
watching and working and with great solicitude and pain 
in her heart. 

"Days and nights of watching and weariness and 
anxiety deepening at times to absolute despair followed. 
I remember one night when, with a young lady friend, I 

was watching the face of little , our sweet 'Flower 

Boy,' as we termed him. The shadows of night seemed 
changed to the shadows of death ; they seemed to be 
unmistakably stealing over his wan, sunken, painful 
features. Oh, I felt that all I had in this world, how 
gladly would I give it for that little life ! and my heart 
went out to him and his little sick brother with a longing 
unutterable. . . . But God was kinder than our fears." 



Call to the Third Presbyterian Church in St. Louis. — Call to Middlebury 
College. — Pressure from St. Louis, and obstacles in the way of removal 
thither. — Inducements that favored the call to St. Louis; its final 
acceptance. — The last years in Jacksonville. — The ideal home in 

THIS chapter records one of the most important 
steps, as indeed in some regards the most painful 
one, in this narrative. It was the removal from Jack- 
sonville to St. Louis. 

While the latter city then felt the pulsations of a 
mighty commercial youth, and offered not only marvelous 
attractions to worldly talent and ambition, but a wide 
and rapidly expanding field for ministerial labor, yet the 
college, the church, and the home at Jacksonville had 
become objects of attachment so strong that it seemed 
almost like giving up a part of life itself to leave them. 
The college, with its chair of history, was specially con- 
genial; the church was not only that of Mr. Post's first 
pastorate but the one where he had made his public pro- 
fession of Christ ; in both were those who had become 
warm personal friends and from whom parting would be 
a very sore trial; and the Jacksonville home was the scene 
of his early wedded life and the birthplace of all but one 
of his children. 

But the change came nevertheless ; and it seems now 
to have been inevitable. 

Mr. Post was already known outside of Jacksonville 
as a writer and public speaker. His Alma Mater had 
kept watch of him since his graduation, and in 1846 two 



urgent appeals had come from President Labaree urging 
his acceptance of the chair of rhetoric and English 
literature in Middlebury College. The appeals had 
been strongly seconded by his old pastor, Rev. Dr. 
Merrill, and the newly formed ties and obligations at 
Jacksonville alone prevailed against the call. He had 
preached in St. Louis and had become known among 
its clergy, certainly as early as 1844. And his address 
at Lebanon (and probably other publications) had at- 
tracted the attention of prominent men in St. Louis. 
Thus, Samuel Treat, then editor of The St. Louis Re- 
porter, and afterward of judicial fame, was struck with 
the style of this oration, which, he said, " reminded " him, 
" somewhat of Carlyle and somewhat of Charles Lamb, 
though different from either." He recalls the fact that 
Mr. Post delivered a series of lectures in the old Odd 
Fellows' Hall, then on Fourth and Locust streets, on 
subjects connected with ancient history, that the lectures 
were largely attended, and at the close of the series an 
informal meeting was organized from the audience, and 
a resolution was adopted, voting the thanks of the public 
to the speaker and appointing a committee to wait upon 
Mr. Post, and request the publication of the lectures 
already delivered and also to ask a continuation of the 
course through the field of mediaeval history. It seems 
quite probable that these lectures were delivered prior 
to the removal to St. Louis and made up a series distinct 
from those afterward delivered under the auspices of the 
Mercantile Library Association. 

Mr. Post had also become known to a number of lead- 
ing men in the Third Presbyterian Church (a young and 
vigorous offshoot from the original mother church of the 
same order), then worshiping in its new edifice on Sixth 
Street. Moses Forbes, one of the founders of the new 


organization, had met him at a temperance convention in 
Illinois and there had formed a permanent friendship. 
Milton Knox, an influential member of the same church, 
had been at one time a resident of Jacksonville and a 
member of its Congregational church ; and very likely- 
through him Mr. Post had, as early as 1844, come to 
know his uncle, Dr. Reuben Knox, a leading spirit of 
the Third Church, and a man of high professional stand- 
ing, very considerable wealth, and a great nobility of 

And so it resulted that, Henry M. Field having 
resigned his pastorate over the church, a letter was 
written by Milton Knox, February 2, 1847, conveying a 
unanimous call from that body asking Mr. Post to become 
its pastor. 

In a letter of February 15, urging an acceptance, Mr. 
Knox says : " You may perhaps be of the number who 
suppose we are not allowed to speak for ourselves and 
hardly to think our own thoughts in this slave state and 
among slaveholders, but you need not fear. Though we 
have three or four families who own slaves, they are 
mostly as much antislavery as you or I, and long to ' see 
the curse removed.' " 

Moses Forbes writes on the same date : — 

" The session and trustees, after consulting upon your 
letter of the 9th, declining the call, feel justified in con- 
struing it into something on which to hang a hope that 
if you were fully apprised of all the circumstances you 
might give a favorable response. They at once resolved 
to send a delegation to treat with you in person. I can 
imagine that you deem your connection with the college 
such that a vacancy there created could not readily be 
supplied ; that in leaving a free for a slave state you 
would have to sacrifice much ; that, to relinquish your 


connection with the Congregational and enter a Presby- 
terian church, you would have to yield many preferences 
nearly akin to principles, and that in your opinions 
on church government and slavery you would feel 
trammeled. . . . 

" As to your views on church government, permit me to 
suggest that in this call on you I have recognized the 
hand of Providence as pointing to one of the means 
which he designs to use to soften down sectarian animosi- 
ties, and lead the disciples of our common Lord to look 
upon each other as brethren, and to reform such objec- 
tionable features as may have crept into the governmental 
policy of his church. 

" In regard to your views on slavery, I think you are 
fully understood. You are looked upon as opposed to the 
system and as feeling it your duty to preach upon the 
subject as upon other great moral and political evils and 
sins, and that for the wealth of the Indies you would not 
consent to be muzzled. At the same time you are not 
viewed as being so exclusive as to suppose there are no 
Christians who own slaves, or so unwise as not to use 
good judgment and sound discretion as to times and 
seasons, ways and means of treating the subject and 
removing the evil." 

The next day came a letter from Dr. Bullard, pastor 
of the First Presbyterian Church, advising acceptance of 
the call. The same month a delegation from the Third 
Church headed by Dr. Knox came to Jacksonville with a 
personal appeal. 

On his return to St. Louis Dr. Knox writes him, if he 
can do no more, to " come down and spend a few weeks." 
In June, the call meantime not having been acted upon, 
Reuben Knox, George Matlack, Cornwall Sage, and John 
S. McCune write, asking his services during the vacation. 


In accordance with this invitation Mr. Post came to St. 
Louis and was domiciled at the house of Dr. Knox, sup- 
plying the pulpit of the Third Church during August and 

While in St. Louis, and also on his return to Jackson- 
ville, the pressure continued through personal solicitation 
from individuals and church committees and through 
letters, of which it is unnecessary to speak in detail, to 
accept the call to the pulpit for a stated time, if not to 
the pastorate. 

Mr. Post says, in the " Life Story " : — 

" I had been repeatedly solicited to come to St. Louis, 
with the proffer of a salary adequate to my financial relief. 
But I was attached to the college and was unwilling to live 
with slavery. At length a special delegate from the Third 
Presbyterian Church of this city visited me, Dr. Reuben 
Knox, one of the noblest and loveliest men I have ever 
known, who now waits the archangel's summons in the 
Pacific seas, coming some hundred miles by stage to urge 
the application. To his inquiry, if the difficulty was 
slavery, I told him it was. I was unwilling to lay my 
bones in a slave state, or commit my family to its desti- 
nies. His reply was, ' Come down and help us remove 
it.' But I could not then see my duty in that direction. 

" At length, after repeated calls and pleadings, my debts 
constantly pressing more and more, with no prospect of 
relief where I was, in reply to a letter urging their case 
anew, and in terms still more earnest, I replied that I 
would come for four years, but was unwilling to commit 
myself to a longer withdrawment from the college ; and 
that I would come only on condition that my letter of 
acceptance should be publicly read — not before the elders 
only, but publicly, before the church — and that after 
hearing my letter the church should re-vote my call. En 



that letter I stated that I regarded holding human beings 
as property as a violation of the first principles of the 
Christian religion, and, that while I did not require of 
the church that they should adopt my views in regard to 
it, or to modes of removal, I thought every Christian 
should be alive to the inquiry after some mode, and his 
duty thereunto ; and that I must be guaranteed in my 
liberty of opinion and speech on this subject, at my own 
discretion. Otherwise, I did not think God called me to 
add to the number of the slaves already in Missouri. 

"To the statement often made that I should change 
my views, as others before me had done, on this matter 
of slavery, on coming down here, I replied, They must 
expect no change in me ; that my convictions and prin- 
ciples in regard to it belonged to the primal elements of 
my thinking, and the very essence of my Christian man- 
hood, and were incorporated with whatever was worth 
anything about me ; and if I could surrender them I 
should cease to be worth their calling or procuring. 

" I also wrote them that I was a Congregationalist from 
principle, and without disturbing their ecclesiastical rela- 
tions, should still retain my own. The answer of the 
church was, that they had done as I required with my 
letter, and they now wished me more than ever." 

And so it came to pass, after a long struggle with ques- 
tions of duty and with his attachment for Jacksonville, 
that in the fall of 1847 (October 31) Mr. Post resigned 
his connection with the church, and about the same time 
also with the college of that place, and, with the God- 
speed and sorrowful leave-taking of old friends and reso- 
lutions of the college students, lamenting his departure 
and looking to the possibility of his return, and, without 
himself wholly abandoning such a hope and under an 
engagement limited to four years of service, he came to 



St. Louis and the Third Church, leaving the family except 
one son behind him. 

This departure virtually ends the life in Jacksonville, 
and concerning that portion of the memoir little more is 
to be said. It was largely made up of routine and with- 
out many special incidents other tfran those already nar- 
rated. There were the daily recitations at the chapel and 
frequent lectures to the students and weekly meetings of 
the college faculty ; and in the later years there were the 
two sermons each week and weekly prayer meetings 
at the church on the square. Added to these labors were 
the long night hours at home, often extending on toward 
morning, spent with Latin and Greek and with historical 
authors, and in preparing for the pulpit and in meeting 
the frequent and increasing demands from the lecture 
fields and the press. There were also the social demands 
of the parish ; and the lack of a hired man required atten- 
tion in work of various sorts about the home during 
most of those odd intervals which otherwise might have 
been given to repose. These years, therefore, had little 
of recreation except an occasional drive with the pony 
and rifle in quest of the prairie fowl and hawk, and now 
and then, by the same mode of conveyance, a trip to 
Waverly or a fishing excursion to the Sangamon or 
Illinois River, or some more extended tour made in the 
interest of the college or to answer an appointment for 
a public address or religious service. 

The life was intensely and constantly busy, and over- 
tasked to such an extent that the health of Mr. Post at 
one time became seriously threatened and his friends 
entertained grave fears that it would break down entirely 
under the strain. 

A sore affliction to which Mr. Post was subject in 
Jacksonville — as indeed afterward — was the frequent 


recurrence of sick headache. This ailment was apt to 
follow any long-continued mental strain and brought 
with it hours of great distress, often whole nights passed 
without sleep, during which the sufferer would sit upright 
in a chair with head thrown back and tightly bound, and 
receiving only such relief as could be got from anaesthetics 
and the mesmerism of gentle fingers and the hairbrush. 
In the Jacksonville home were born Frances Henshaw, 
Truman Augustus, Henry McClure, Catharine Harriet, 
and Clara Harrison — all of the children except Martin 
Hayward, the youngest, who was a native of St. Louis. 
And what with the increasing household, and a heavy 
debt, and meager salary and tardy payments, there was 
in this life no little of carking care and anxious looking 
forward to the morrow. 

"With so much that was pleasant there" (mss.) "and 
amid scenes so Eden-like in review, all was not rose-like. 
My paradise was cast in a fallen world. Often painful, 
anxious sickness, if no personal sorrow, was there, and 
sore labor and care and pinching economies and want of 
household help and nursing in times of heat, disease, and 
debility ; and trouble would come at times from the 
outside world, and sorrowful partings from friends we 
should meet no more — even should we return to the 
longed-for, fondly remembered land of youth." 

Of the reflex influence upon himself of the life in 
Jacksonville and its mental stimulus, and of his relations 
with the college and its officers, Dr. Post speaks in the 
" Life Story." 

" Those years were of great value to me. They placed 
me in a school of new and profound interest, with the 
most important result to my mental development and 
future, and a school which residence in society of an 
established order could never have furnished — the school 







of being compelled to work at primordial social principles 
and in the organization of the new order of a new world. 
Those years seem to me now almost like a strange episode 
in the scenery and drama of my life — a half dream in 
morning land yet pregnant with eventualities stretching 
through all the landscape of years and into eternity. 

" My associates of the faculty and board of trustees 
embraced men whom I learned to love and honor more 
with time, some of whom are still with the loved and 
revered living — loved and revered for what they have 
been and have done, as also for what they are and are 
still doing. Some have passed to the loved and honored 
of higher worlds, their works still ever following them ; 
one especially, among the sweetest, noblest and most 
gifted of men, among the most pleasant and cherished of 
the friends of my youth, — the turf has scarcely yet grown 
green over his fresh grave, — Dr. Samuel Adams. My 
connection with these men was stimulant and grateful. 

" My stay of fourteen years at Jacksonville brought me 
in contact in the class and lecture room with minds which 
have since become ruling ones in secular and religious 
spheres, in civil, military, and ecclesiastical life, and in 
the republic of letters in the northwest ; some, whose 
records in the high places of eloquence and judicature 
and arms, in evangelic and educational work and in the 
rule of affairs, have been honored among men." 

Although not sold till some time later, the house on 
College Hill passed into possession of other occupants in 
the year 1849; ar *d while a part of his family were there 
for a season as boarders, and Mr. Post lodged there once 
or twice on temporary visits, it was never afterwards his 
home. Since the place was given up, it has changed 
owners repeatedly, and has been somewhat altered and 
added to, but in the main the house and the landmarks 


are not much disturbed. Often, as Jacksonville is revis- 
ited by the children and grandchildren, they wander 
through the grounds, which of late years are frequently 
without occupants, and so the memories and traditions of 
the place are still kept green. To the older descendants, 
on these returns the scene of forty years ago, and the 
forms of those who then were there, come back with the 
freshness of yesterday. The house, with its yellow walls 
framed against the green background of trees, crowning 
the gentle slope and half hid by the foliage, seems as 
though touched with the light of morning. The grounds 
are open, and the place is so quiet that you are 
tempted to enter and stroll along the winding track, 
not much worn, and shaded here and there by oak and 
elm and " white-armed sycamore," till you are at the front 
porch with its fragrant sweetbriar and clambering honey- 
suckle. Standing there you almost expect to see a tall, 
familiar form coming with rapid step along the path 
through the twilight archway of the grove from the reci- 
tation at the chapel ; or you fancy you hear the sound of 
wheels as he drives up the avenue, dusty and belated from 
a long journey ; and you can imagine you hear the voices 
of children and see the young mother coming out with 
them to "greet the sire's return." The old-fashioned 
doorknocker ought to arouse something more than echoes, 
and you almost start to find that no voices or faces are 
there, that the mansion is tenantless, its occupants all 
gone ; nothing left behind but shadows. 

Everything around recalls the former scene. To the 
north now, as then, is the landscape of rolling prairie 
broken by clumps of timber. Hard by, to the east of the 
house, are some descendants of the wild rose and holly- 
hock and tiger lily that used to grow there, and beyond 
is the " College Grove," or what remains of its primeval 


and " tangled wildwood." To the west, along the winding 
road, exactly as of yore, is the "Mound," with the Rock- 
well mansion and its bower of trees standing against the 
sky, across which the sun shot his farewell glance into 
the western windows. And again in fancy come back 
the long summer twilights spent by the father and his 
children under that smokeless sky with its wondrous 
cloud panorama lit by the sunset. 

"The years of my family life at Jacksonville," say the 
mss., " have always had a special charm in memory from 
the closeness and familiarity of my life with my children 
that were then in beautiful, lovely, plastic childhood. In 
my rambles or hunting and fishing I delighted to associate 
them with me as companions, seeing, hearing, and enjoy- 
ing with them all the freshness of life. They grew to my 
very soul. How dim and distant, yet sweet, those even- 
ings on the porch and under the snowballs, in the moon- 
light or the solemn dusk, sitting with them or reclining 
on the grass under the green oaks and elms and rich 
maples while I talked with them, turned my historic 
lectures into children's idyls for them, giving them, as 
I could, pictures of the tragic beauty from the past story 
of the world." 

" Here " (says the " Life Story"), " in my secluded home, 
nestling amid groves, and from its perch overlooking a 
most living landscape of long green slopes that stretched 
far away, studded with grove and fringed with woodland 
or billowing into mound or bluff, to a horizon blent of 
forest and sky — here I spent the years ; here, where the 
birds came early in the spring and stayed late in the 
autumn, and sang in tempestuous orchestra in the morn- 
ing, or in the soft, sweet hymn of evening — here was the 
beginning of my family life. Here I dwelt with one sent 
from God through beautiful and happy years ; and little 


sons and daughters came to me and played in the shadows 
of the lofty elm and oak, or wandered amid the green 
glades glittering with sunlight and flowers, and other 
matins and vespers mingled with those of birds. 

"The seedling maples which I planted one morning 
have grown to be great trees. Some have died of blight 
or violence. The guardian elms that I set out as senti- 
nels of the gateway have kept well their charge, until 
now they seem old and bending with their full-grown 
honors and with time, and I feel in their presence that 
I am old." 



First years in St. Louis. — Lecture on the Pilgrim Fathers. — La Clede Saloon 
disaster. — Address at dedication of Bellefontaine Cemetery. 

DURING the winter of 1847-48, Mr. Pos-t, with his 
eldest son, was the guest of Dr. Knox, whose 
house, with its ample porches and extensive grounds, 
occupying the entire block between Ninth and Tenth 
streets and Franklin Avenue and Wash Street, will be 
remembered by old residents as in those days one of the 
attractive homes of St. Louis. 

The Third Church was on Sixth Street, just below 
Franklin Avenue, conveniently near by, and — strange as 
it now seems — in a quarter of the city then substantially 
built up with dwelling houses, and desirable for residence 
purposes. The edifice was one of the newest and roomi- 
est and one of the most tasteful houses of worship then 
in St. Louis ; and its tall spire and Corinthian columns 
made quite an imposing display along the street. 

The church organization had been, as already intimated, 
under the pastoral charge of Rev. Henry M. Field, — a 
brother of Stephen, David Dudley, and Cyrus, — who 
afterward became editor of The New York Evangelist. 
Its membership was not large and its wealth not equal to 
that of some other churches in the city, but it was never- 
theless - a church of marked influence and one of very 
great promise. It embraced an unusual proportion of 
young men of energy and enterprise, in prosperous and 
growing business pursuits ; and quite a number of the 
congregation were already prominent, not only in mer- 


cantile circles but in the ranks of law and medicine. 
The church was young and in a community growing with 
the vigor of a mighty youth, its pastor was in the prime 
of his physical and intellectual manhood, and the people 
were enthusiastically united upon him. 

The winter was largely devoted by Mr. Post to the 
making of acquaintance in his new parish. It was very 
busy with calls and social gatherings and church enter- 
tainments. In addition to the pulpit discourses he gave 
a series of lectures before the Mercantile Library Associa- 
tion on historical topics. The lectures were very popular. 
The hall on Fourth and Locust streets was nightly 
thronged with an audience embracing many men of mark 
in the community, and these addresses were a means of 
introducing the speaker most favorably to a wide circle 
outside of his own church. Mr. Post was also engaged, 
during the same winter, in preparing another series of 
historical lectures, which were delivered in Jacksonville in 
the summer following. 

During part of that summer Mrs. Post, with two of the 
children, was visiting in the east, three of them being 
left in the charge of Mrs. McClure. The Jacksonville 
home had been given over to other tenants, but Mr. Post 
was there while giving his lectures. In June he writes 
from that place : — 

" Here I am, my dearest Frances, in the east chamber, 
where we have so often sat side by side in sorrow and in 
gladness, where I embraced my firstborn, and where I 
have watched your pale features as they seemed fading 
forever from my sight. The windows are before me and 
the green elms, where your sick, longing look was fixed 
so sadly and so constantly. A thousand objects speak 
and a thousand voices from the dim past answer. ... I 
hear those of children coming into my window, but they 


are not the music of our little nestlings. Nature around 
smiles as sweetly for them and the birds sing as merrily. 
. . . And I have been thinking how glad and bright and 
tuneful the earth will move on a thousand years hence, 
forgetting to mourn us and the loving, beautiful, and good, 
as it has forgotten all that fed on the gifts of life before 
us. I feel myself a passing echo, a fading shadow amid 
a world of such." 

" Thursday. Again I lay down the lecture sheet and 
take up that of a letter to my wife. It is now another 
day ; hot — exceedingly. The days are as ardent as the 
passions of youth and the nights as soft with moonlit 
beauty as its dreams. Call to mind one of the loveliest 
nights of memory, and imagine me in the old room 
musing and dreaming, with my eyes wide open — alone." 

In July Mr. Post is back in St. Louis, and once more 
engaged in delivering historical lectures. In discussing 
certain revolutionary movements in Europe as " signs of 
the times," he has found himself called on to advert to 
the topic of slavery. And he writes : — 

" It came naturally in my way, and I felt that if I could 
not in such cases speak and with plainness on the subject, 
it were best I should know it soon. ... If I find I can- 
not use Christian freedom on this subject, I have no wish 
to stay here to enslave myself. If I cannot succeed here 
by a manly course, I do not wish to at all, and shall go 
from this city quite as cheerfully as I came." 

In August, 1848, Mr. Post had rented a three-story 
brick dwelling house on Franklin Avenue near the church, 
and in a neighborhood, as he wrote Mrs. Post, connected 
by pavement with the center of the city, and to which 
the gaslights were soon to be extended. In the fall of 


that year, Mrs. Post and the children coming by stage 
through Brighton and Alton and thence by river, and the 
household effects being shipped by way of Naples and 
the Illinois steamer, the whole establishment was trans- 
ferred to its new quarters, and remained there till the 
lease and occupation twelve months afterward of a house 
in "Kerr's Row" on Sixth Street. 

On the Sabbath before Christmas Mr. Post delivered 
in the Third Church a discourse commemorative of the 
Pilgrim Fathers ; and three days afterward he received a 
note signed by Reuben Knox, Moses Forbes, W. D. 
Skilraan, and Henry D. Bacon, saying, "We listened 
with pleasure to your eloquent and instructive discourse 
on the 24th instant on the character of the Puritans, their 
labors and difficulties " ; and at their request the address 
was published. The discourse traces in elaborate resume 
the history of Puritanism and the rise and character 
of independency and its influence in molding civil and 
religious liberty. As the topic is kindred with that of a 
number of addresses from which extracts are hereafter 
made, we quote merely the following tribute to the Pil- 
cxims, taken from the close of the sermon.. 

" Plymouth Rock shall grow more sacred when the 
triumphs of a thousand years of art have perished. Yea, 
theirs is an honor that shall grow greener through eter- 
nity. If their names should fade from earth, it mattered 
little to them while living, it matters little to them now, 
for such names are in the Lamb's Book of Life. It adds 
to his moral greatness, that it was such a thought, and no 
dream of earthly fame, that soothed the Pilgrim as he lay 
down beyond the Great Waters to die. Glorious ones 
waited him on the margin of the Dark River. Crowns 
of life gleamed through the death shade. Flaming cheru- 


bim opened wide the Everlasting Gates, and the smile of 
the King in his beauty welcomed the Pilgrim home. 

"The little band that we followed to the shores of the 
New World, more than half of them, the first winter, 
found the end of their mortal pilgrimage. They seemed 
only to have come to the great wilderness to die. Amid 
the wilds, beyond the vision of the great world, in their 
cold, lone cabins, without food or comforts, in almost 
un'cended sickness, they died. Under the forest shade 
they were laid. The mighty oak and the solemn pine 
united their branches over them, through which the wail 
of the wintry wind and the wave was their lone requiem. 
Thus they slept on the margin of the mighty wilderness 
and the mighty waters, and the ages rolled on and seemed 
to lose their memory from earth. But the ages that 
rolled on were to bring them up again. The world was 
to inquire after the Pilgrim ; for he left his monument, 
though not in bronze or marble. 

"The American empire is his monument, with its 
liberty, its greatness, its power, its happiness, and its 
destiny. His name written on it must rise with it. It 
was not his work alone, but he laid the corner stone, and 
his was the architectural idea. This shaped its propor- 
tions, and compacted its vast strength, and heaved its 
mighty dome. 

" And even were this empire to sink, still the Pilgrim's 
name would live. Though the result should perish, still 
were the heroic act and thought immortal, and from the 
rock where first they trod should gush forth a life stream 
for the nations. Time may sweep away many things. 
Institutions, outward forms, political and ecclesiastical 
structures may pass, but the creative spirit is immortal 
and will still survive. Coming ages shall pay them the 
tribute of grateful tears, and pilgrims from many climes 

j66 marcellus post. 

and from the ends of the earth shall come to kindle anew 
their patriotism and piety at the shades of Vernon and 
the rock of Plymouth. Time will take from many fames. 
Others will grow with years ; their true altitude will be 
taken only from the standpoint of ages. Such is the 
fame of these men. As the eye of history recedes it 
will rise higher till it towers like Mount Blanc and 
projects its solemn and solitary grandeur on the distant 


"Thus, as years roll on, more prominent and lofty in 
the temple of the past shall the figure of the Pilgrim be 
over our history, as he now stands on the living canvas 
of Weir over the halls of our national congress. There 
above our arch of civilization and empire he stands and 
will stand forever with lines of deep suffering and grief 
on his countenance, but still with a serene repose, a sub- 
dued passion, an iron resolve and lofty faith and earnest 
love, the strange, intellectual, devout, sagacious, inflexible, 
'heroic man." 

In some respects the early days in St. Louis stand in 
rather dismal contrast with those preceding them. The 
house on Franklin Avenue was in the midst of noise and 
confusion, to which its inmates had been strangers; the 
limestone dust, and mud of the streets were an absolute 
pest ; and the great fire and cholera will be remembered 
as the lurid calamities of 1849. After the epidemic had 
begun to rage, the family of Mr. Post were sent back to 
Jacksonville and passed the summer at the house of Dr. 
Adams ; but Mr. Post himself remained in St. Louis and 
gave his ministrations to the sick and bereaved through 
the worst days of the pestilence. 

Among the events of the period, none left on the 


public mind an impression more vivid or tragic than the 
disaster which occurred at the La Clede Saloon in 1850. 

The edifice, with its stuccoed front, occupying the site 
where now stands the Mercantile Library Building, and its 
courtyard adorned with statues and fountains, was then a 
well-known resort of fashion. In the hall above it, on 
the evening of May 1st, the pupils of Mr. Purket's famous 
school for young ladies, and their teachers and friends, 
had gathered to celebrate the day with music and reci- 
tations and charades. What followed was always counted 
in the family of Mr. Post as one of a number of signal 
providences. A strange melodrama and transformation 
scene was that — the stage with its gay paraphernalia, 
the white throng of girls and their admiring friends, the 
weaving of the comic plot, the audience on tiptoe for 
the denouement pressing forward and together toward the 
center of the room ; then the shudder of the building and 
the strange rumbling sound, and in a moment more, fast 
as thought can follow, faster than words can describe, 
benches, desks and flooring, and scholars and friends 
shunted down together, crashing and shrieking, into a 
cloud of mortar dust that seemed to envelop them like 
" the dunnest smoke of hell." The scene was seared into 
public memory ; and for months afterward the schoolboy, 
passing along Fifth Street and peering through the board- 
ing nailed across doorways and windows, would linger 
fascinated by the ghastly spectacle of torn and splintered 
floors tilted on end, and rafters and furniture piled in hope- 
less tangle ; while high above the hideous and gaping ruin, 
suspended as in fantastic mockery, swung the remnants 
of stage decorations and festoons of holly and myrtle. 

Two lives were lost that night ; many persons were 
injured ; some permanently. And the passing wonder 
is that the casualties were not greater. 


Mr. Post and wife and three children were there. The 
eldest daughter was one of the pupils who were to take 
part in the entertainment, and one of the many injured. 
The rest of the family were unhurt. Mrs. Post writes : — 

" I never could have imagined, without witnessing it, 
a scene so horrible. The shrieks and screams were inex- 
pressibly dreadful as they arose from that awful pit 
through the gloom. The floor on one end and on one 
side of the room did not give away. There were standing 
on this part of it, I suppose, seventy-five or one hundred 
persons, but the great mass had gone down. I knew that 

F must have fallen, and supposed that the two boys 

and Truman were also in the dreadful mclcc. 

" I covered my eyes to shut out the horrid scene, 
expecting every instant that the walls and roof would 
fall in and crush us in the ruins. But, thank God ! we 
escaped. Mr. Blatchford, who was with me, told me after 
a few minutes that we could get out ; and trembling, but 
speechless with anguish, I passed down into the street 
and went to the house of a friend, where I remained for 
three quarters of an hour before I heard whether my 
husband and children were dead or alive. . . . Truman 
was standing on a part of the floor which gave way, but 
he felt it falling and, God-directed, as I believe, he stepped 
off just in the right direction to escape." 

A notable event in these annals was the dedication of 
Bellefontaine Cemetery, which took place in May, 1850. 

"The day," says The St. Louis Intelligencer, "was all 
that nature could have made it, or man desired it, for such 
an occasion. The sun shone brightly, and the joyous face 
of a lovely spring day smiled on all the scene. A very 
large company of citizens were present." 

Among those who took part in the dedication were 


John F. Darby, president of the association, Rev. Dr. 
Bullard, Rev. E. C. Hutchinson, Rev. William G. Eliot, 
and Rev. Dr. Jeter. The address of dedication was 
delivered by Mr. Post. The newspaper above referred 
to says : " We shall attempt no description of his 
effort. It was worthy of the man and of the occasion. 
No happier selection of speaker could have been made. 
It was one of the most eloquent and beautiful pro- 
ductions it has ever been our pleasure to hear." The 
exercises were hardly a stone's throw from the spot 
selected a month or two later by Mr. Post as his family 
lot and presented to him by the Cemetery Association 
"as a slight token of their appreciation of his address." 
The oration was something far more than a dedication of 
cemetery soil. More than forty years have passed since 
the voice of the speaker, with the funeral anthem of the 
Odd Fellows' band, died away on that then untenanted 
woodland, and all but one of those whose names are men- 
tioned as taking part in the dedication services have gone 
from the stage of the living. The lot given Mr. Post now 
holds what is mortal of himself and his wife, and one of 
his daughters, the wife of one of his sons, and some of 
the third generation. More than thirty thousand of the 
population of St. Louis, embracing many of those most 
honored and beloved in her history, are slumbering in 
Bellefontaine ; and the address, from its drift of thought 
and its association with the history of that spot, has 
to-day the eloquence of a requiem over all the sacred 
dead who have gathered there, and indeed, in its solemn 
and majestic close, over the unnumbered train " who 
shall draw after them " down the remotest future. This 
oration is among the cherished classics of St. Louis 
literature ; and so it will doubtless remain as long as 
private or public love and veneration shall guard Belle- 


fontaine. Its eloquence and pathos will receive a deeper 
meaning as time passes on and the muster roll is swelling 
in "that long and silent rendezvous." 

" We are come hither," said the speaker, " on no ordi- 
nary errand. No civic festivity or literary reunion, no 
achievement of commerce or joy of victory, gathers us 
this day amid these scenes of nature, this green and 
wooded seclusion. 

" We are come, 't is true, to found a city — of your 
own emporium the shadow, the counterpart, the home ; 
to grow with its growth and become populous with its 
people — yet a city for no living men, a city of the dead, 
we found this day. 

"Not in pride come we. In no vain ambition to wrestle 
with our mortal state, or rescue these bodies from corrup- 
tion, or our names from oblivion. Too well, alas ! we know 

Nor storied urn, nor animated bust, 
Back to its mansion calls the fleeting breath ; 
Nor Honor's voice provokes the silent dust, 
Nor flattery soothes the dull cold ear of death. 

" In no such dream of the children of pride, but as 
under a common doom, we come on an errand of love 
and sorrow. We come to consecrate a place to the sad 
proprieties of grief, the last offices of earthly affection, 
the holy memories of the dead, and the repose of the 
grave ; to hallow a sanctuary, for remembrance and love 
and tears, to thoughts that walk again life's pilgrimage 
with the departed, or see the faces faded and lost from 
earth brightening in the smile of God. We come to 
select the last home for families and friend^ and forms 
we love most dearly. Yea, to choose the place of our 
own final rest, where memory, perchance, may drop over 
our dust the 'tribute of a tear.' . . . 


I 7 I 

" Apart from all philosophy, we love to linger around 
the place of our dead, where we looked on the forms we 
loved for the last time. Thither fondly we oft return, 
and sorrow soothes itself with its offering of tears over 
their lone and lowly rest. We love to beautify their 
last repose, as though the departed spirit were more 
quickly conscious and cognizant around the spot where 
the companion of its mortal pilgrimage awaits the resur- 
rection, as though there it were still sensible to the 
soothing charm of natural beauty or the gentle offices 
of memory and love. True, we cannot wake their sleep, 
they answer us never with voice or sigh ; still we delight 
to make their rest beautiful — beautiful with all that 
nature and all that art can give ; we would strew it with 
flowers, to be tended with gentle fingers and bedewed 
ever with fresh tears ; we would that affection and honor 
should speak of them in commemorative marble, and 
nature around should wear her benignest and loveliest 

" This feeling springs irrepressible in the mourner's 
heart. At times it seems as though the dead did plead 
with us not to be all forgot. Their whisper steals on us 
in the stilly night, and their faces, pale and beautiful, 
gleam on us in the rising moon — they plead to be left 
not alone and unvisited of the living in their cold and 
lowly bed. We hear their voices when spring comes 
forth, and when the leaves fall, yea, in the glee and glory 
of life, in the joyous and genial circle it comes — that 
gentle entreaty, by the love we once bore them, that we 
leave them not all abandoned now — that still, from time 
to time, in visits, not too oft, nor in gloom to darken life, 
we pay the tribute of a passing hour, and some mindful 
tears to those whom living we loved so well, and whose 
hearts beat for us so fondly till they were forever cold. 



Thev ask us sometimes to come where they lie alone, 
and commune again with the farewell word and the 
fading look of love, and the hope of reunion in realms 
unvisited of death. 

" Call it illusion, if you please, this feeling of sympathy 
with the dead. It is an illusion no philosophy can dispel. 
It springs directly from our conscious, painful dread of 
passing forever away from this world of light and life 
and love, and having our very thought perishing in 
bosoms most dear. In spite of philosophy Nature still 
exclaims : — 

Ah, who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey, 
This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned, 
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, 
Nor cast one longing, lingVing look behind? 

On some fond breast the parting soul relies, 
Some pious drops the closing eye requires ; 
E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, 
E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires. 

" Natural taste and sensibility again plead for the rural 
cemetery. A seemly and beautiful sepulcher amid the 
jostle and din and offenses of sight and sound, in the 
tumult of the city ! It is impossible ! In the city 
churchyard, on the borders of our crowded and reeking 
thoroughfares, mid the clang and clamor and dust and 
tramping of feet and the rattling of wheels, it seems as 
if the buried could not rest. We can hardly disabuse 
the mind of the painful illusion that the turmoil of mortal 
life may still perturb even the sleepers of the grave. The 
sensibilities of the mourner are shocked by the mingling 
of vulgar and profane life with the awe and silence of 
the house of death. Meditation flees such scenes — the 
sanctity of private grief is outraged. The faces of the 
departed will not come to greet you, and the sensitive 



spirit hastes to hide its wound away from the stare and 
curiosity of the passing crowd. No, not there! but in 
seclusion, silence, and solitude, grief loves to seek the 
face of the dead and commune with its memories and 
hopes ; where the earth, with its stilly life, grows green 
in its time, and spring comes forth with its flowers beau- 
tiful and voiceless ; and summer passes into a solemn 
Sabbath glory ; and pensive autumn throws its seemly 
shroud of fading loveliness over the dying year ; and the 
desolate winter keeps religiously, at least the fitting 
loneliness and stillness of the tomb. 

" We love to seek converse with sorrow and the dead 
where the outer world seems in sympathy with the 
mourner ; where the trees gather in gothic solemnity 
and cathedral gloom around the grave, and where nature, 
with the touching similitudes of her own brief bloom, 
and transient summer beauty, of her swift decay and 
sure renewal of life, may image the brief flower of our 
mortal being, its hastening decadence and its immortal 
hope. . . . 

" To make the place of the dead beautiful and attract- 
ive is wise for men. The amenity that lures life often 
within the shadow of the tomb purifies, ennobles, and 
hallows it. The tomb, the great refiner and chastener 
of life, as a beneficent remembrancer and educator — the 
perpetuator of the discipline of sorrow without its pang 
— the admonishcr of the true and enduring in our being; 
it is well to give it permanent voice, often to invoke its 
influence to sober life's passion and hope and to impart 
true wisdom to its reason and aim. 

" To localize a grief and give it embodiment and ex- 
pression in enduring outward forms that shall speak on 
and speak ever, until time wearies out the very marble, 
this is to make sorrow a permanent purifier, long after 



the agony of grief is past, and establish a blessed guard- 
urn influence in human life. 

" Sweet and beautiful are the uses of sorrow. It 
softens the hardness of our nature and quickens our 
sympathy with our brother. To lead man to frequent 
converse with the scenes of grief blesses man and blesses 

" Hast thou had a sorrow ? Erect a monument to it — 
establish it by some enduring remembrancer and visit 
oft its sad memorial. For sorrow remembered turns to 
wisdom. Keep its memory green ; often wander where 
sight and sound and the spirit and genius of the scene 
shall call its pale but beautiful face. Call in the aids of 
taste, and let the charm of natural and artistic beauty 
lead you often to visit such scenes. For that face shall 
be to thee the face of a seraph, to win and woo thee to 
a higher and purer being. In the shadow of the cypress 
and marble your spirit shall catch lessons that may 
change weeping memories to immortal hope, and the 
death shade to heaven's own light, and make the mute, 
pale sleepers of the grave blessed angels beckoning to 
their own bright sphere. 

" We think it wise to make the church and school 
attractive. Render inviting, then, the spot that teaches 
a wisdom beyond all the philosophy of the schools, and 
preaches with an eloquence more solemn than ever rang 
under vault of minster or cathedral — the grave. Let the 
young, the ardent, the gay and frivolous, the hot and 
eager throng of life, often be allured to its audience. For 
the most part, life rushes eager on in its phantom hunt, 
unrecking of its true position and destiny. It is well to 
pause and listen at times to the stern but merciful monitor 
that warns us that we are shadows in a world of shades. 

" Place, then, and preserve the city of Death beside 


that of Life, as its sorrowful but blessed remembrancer. 
Let Life look oft on the features of its pale brother. 
Make that face not foul and revolting, but charming with 
the spell of beauty and of holy repose, that the living 
may often come to gaze thereon, and may turn away with 
chastened hopes and passions and quickened sympathies 
and higher and holier thoughts. . . . 

"The Present holds its life of the Past, and that 
through the memory of the dead. These monuments are 
perpetual proclaimers of their thoughts and institutions. 
The faces that look down on Faneuil Hall and from the 
rotunda of our Capitol are watchers over principles that 
are our national life. The tomb of Vernon is the moral 
keystone of our arch of union and of empire. History 
shows the strength of the power of political conservation 
in reverence for the dead, even in cases of its abuse and 
perversion. The Chinese, whose worship of the dead has 
conserved an effete civilization for twenty centuries ; the 
Hindoo, whose traditions embalmed in time-defying monu- 
ments from the source of the Ganges to Cape Comorin, 
have for three thousand years kept watch over a civiliza- 
tion seemingly as lasting and changeless as the features of 
the natural world ; ancient Egypt, who embalmed herself 
for ages in porphyry and granite and marble, making the 
whole Nile valley one cemetery of mausoleum, of obelisk 
and pyramid, — illustrate the power of the principle, though 
in misdirection and excess. Greece understood its power; 
and in temple and grove, and forum and cemetery, in 
forests of statuary and funeral sculpture, she caused her 
gifted and glorious dead to speak, from generation to gen- 
eration, to her brilliant but mobile people. What a school 
was that of the cemetery of the Ceramicus, where Plato 
and Aristotle taught in sight of the tombs of the great 
departed ! What memories there aided their instructions 


to the youth of Athens, with an eloquence more glowing, 
subduing and awful than the wisdom of the Areopagus or 
the Senate, than the heroic thought and Pythic enthusi- 
asm of Homer or Pindar, or than the pathos of her tragic 
Muse, or the fiery logic of her great orator. There, in 
awful marble, still spoke her great lawgiver ; there stood 
the hero of Marathon, whose trophies would not suffer 
Themistocles to sleep ; and there Pericles, the true, the 
noble, the eloquent, still pleads for the life and glory of 
the Athens he loved so well. And Rome, did she not 
cement the tremendous strength of her empire in tears of 
honor for the dead, even more than in the blood of war? 
This sentiment pervaded her entire life. It ran like a 
religion through all her policy and laws and institutions. 
From where the Lares stood on the family altar, to where 
her rural tombs o'erwatched the public ways, and to where 
her awful heroes looked down from her marble capitol, it 
greets you as a tutelar genius. So of modern nations — 
the monuments of the dead keep watch for the living. 
Does not the life of Britain this hour stand as much in 
the memories of Westminster, and other high places of 
her dead, as in her fleets and armies, or in her industrial 
greatness or parliamentary wisdom ? Nor is the benefi- 
cent power of this sentiment confined to names eminent 
and world-famed. From sire to son in the obscurest 
household, and through all the relations of family and 
friendship, this contexture of sympathy and authoritative 
memory extends, binding together the fabric of society. 
Each hearthside has its memories of virtues, thoughts and 
affections, unknown to the great world, but to it a vestal 
fire." . . . 

Mr. Post's address concludes with the following passage, 
a part of which is carved in marble over his own place of 
rest : — 

voting for Mr. Ashley. In explain- 

vote, Mr. Guy said: "I regret in- 

hat arrangements have been made 

ose Mr. Ashley, but on so many 
>ns I have voted with the majority 

would feel lost if I did no1 do so 

Mr. Behan changed his vote and 

that the election of Mr. Willets 
ide unanimous. This was carried. 

salary of the superintendent was 
t $2,300 per year, the same as here- 

William Hopkins was unanimously 
i clerk at a salary of $1,200 a year. 
a recess of tire minutes. President 
ner announced the following stand- 
mmittees, which were adpoted: 
tee and accounts— Guv, Howe and 

> books and supplies— Tunnard, Krans 

u organization and discipline— Howe, 
and Kraus. 

hers and janitors— Haynes, Tunnard 

school— Guy, Haynes and Rohan. 

bg, rules and manual — Kraus, Guy 
e president, ex-officio. 
ing and music— Behan, Guy and Howe. 
s for indigent pupils— Schools 4, 5 and 
. Kraus; Nos. 6, 7 and high school, Mr. 
N'os. 8 and 9, Mr. Behan; Nos. 10 and 

Howe: Nos. 12 and 13, Mr, Tunnard; 
I. 15 and 10, Mr. Haynes; Nos. 1, 2 and 

Suji Tintendent of Public Schools. 

Doii'.n that the presenl manual shall 

n in force until a new one is adopted 
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cinder the terms of tneir contract, w 
to defend the suit for damages brc| 
the Glens Falls Gas Lighl company 
the village for damages for injurie| 

>■ pany's piping, etc., caused by Hi 

ing of i lie sewers, in the event of 
being decided adversely to the villi 
contractors will also be compelled t 
good the <la ma ires assessed in the v< 
The resull of the Republican cauctj 
oesday was the following village 
President, A. W. Thompson; trust eel! 
Morgan, J. B. Keeffe; treasurer, Chfl 
Hitchcock; assessor, Peter Pulver; < 
ifc to till vacancies. I). F. Keeffe, 
Steams, T. W. McArthur; village i 
tee, I>r. IT. W. Coffin, I>r. Lemon T 
and 1). F. Keeffe. 

These nominations for village office 
been made by the Democrats: Lr 
James a. Holden; trustees, Delbert S. 
Samuel Williamson; treasurer, Dam 
bett; collector, Louis Vanclette; ass* 
B. Quinlan. 1». V. Brown, George 
Nutt and C. II. Luck were , 
village committee for the ensuing yea 
People's Darty has made these nom) 
for village officers: For village pr 
George Ferguson; trustees. Sani'orl i;. 
berlain, Lewis Guyette; treasurer, 
Savage: collector. .Marcus Granger; a 
John II. Quinlan. I). M. S. IVro. 
Guyette and P. J. Savage wet 
a village committee for the ensuing ye 
Sandy Hill. 

Charles P. Guy was on the streets th 
for the first time since ids leg was 
fated.— A reception will lie given by M 
nesly for her children's dancing class 
dleworth hall immediately after Esq 
number of Scuylerville Led Men were 
at the meeting of the recently organisfi 
tribe Wednesday evening.— Miss Fanny 
who is undergoing a course of treatn 
Albany, is improving rapidly. — "The 
our Saviour, and Ireland's Apostle," 
the subject of an illustrated lecture h 
J. .1. O'Brien at St. Mary's church 
evening of St. Patrick's day. — Mrs 
Toole is so seriously ill that her rec 
doubtful.— The funeral of .Tames Let 
will be held from St. Mary's church 
morning, Lev. Father O'Brien officlatifj 
Reed died at the home of his father \> 
day morning of consumption, aged 28 y 


" Nature, history, health, taste — the demands of affec- 
tion and of cultivation — sanction our enterprise. Pre- 
pare we, then, here a forum of the dead — a church of the 
past, where memory and honor and love and sorrow may 
speak from generation to generation. Along these hills, 
beneath these whispering shades, adown these silent 
dales, what voices from graves unnumbered shall whisper 
through the coming time, breathing the spirit of the 
departed over the living, and blending in sad, solemn, but 
beautiful harmony the past with the future life of society, 
aye, and time with eternity ! The forum of the dead ! silent 
and vacant now ; but fast the orators of the future hasten 
hither, and hourly by the hearthside and in the seques- 
tered vale of life, as well as in the high places of com- 
merce and politics and philosophy and genius, they are 
now preparing the magic of their eloquence in the love 
and honor of human hearts — an eloquence that, from age 
to age, through these retreats shall pour its hallowing 
pathos and persuasion on the ear of the future as long 
as the heart of yonder city beats with life's fever or 
yonder mighty river sweeps to its ocean home. 

"The pale orators, the tearful auditory, will soon be 
here. Along the paths of the future I see them hastening 
hither — and ourselves amid the silent speakers and the 
weeping, awestruck listeners. 

" The time gone — the beautiful masonry — melancholy 
realm. Here oft shall we come to hear the sweet sadness 
of its voice ; to sit again in its light shadow and dream 
over its dreams once more ; to summon up its fading 
scenery and call back its fugitive phantoms from the 
realms of perpetual night. Here oft we shall come, 
where genius and goodness and beauty and affection 
shall be wedded in death, to rclimn in memory the dim- 
ming image of the. beautiful ; to list again the sweet 


music of love and walk again in awful companionship 
with saint and sage and hero, whose home is now above 
the stars ; to catch again the magic tones of eloquence 
now dying on the ear of time ; to see the colors and 
shapes of art start into life under hands that had forever 
otten their cunning and listen to the lyre that shall 
be swept by the breezes of this world no more. 

"Aye, we trust memories as awful and as eloquent as 
any that consecrate Auburn, Greenwood, or Westminster 
may here utter themselves in enduring and grateful mar- 
ble ; that the champions and victims in the battles of the 
coming age, — the battles of truth and liberty and love, 
— glorious as any that have hallowed the high places of 
history where they stood and the spot of earth where 
they repose, shall here speak to coming time, in forms of 
art and nature ever beautiful and young. 

■■ Ave, and here too shall we come to hear again the 
hearthside voices that moan at times over the spirit from 
the past, like an yEolian harp in the breeze of a summer 
eve, to converse again with look and lips now sealed in 
perpetual silence, and eyes that shall open on the world of 
life no more. 

"Here the counsels of a revered father, too oft, alas, 
and too long, unheeded in life's hot and giddy game, shall 
speak from the sod that covers his hoary locks ; and to our 
tearful eye shall come again that sweetest of remembered 
things, a mother's smile, now sweeter and holier from 
the consecration of death. The sister that faded in her 
early flower ; the brother that sank in his generous prom- 
ise ; the little son or daughter whose face shines like a 
far-off star in memory ; and the companions of our pil- 
grimage, the meek, the noble, and loving, the pure and 
the saintly that have fallen from our bosoms to the tomb; 
hither shall we come to commune again with these — to 


see their beckoning hands and hear their gentle voices 
from the other side of the dark river, and look upon the 
beauty of those who have beheld the face of God. 

" Make we, then, beautiful here the place of our dead — 
make it sacred to quiet thought and meditative repose 
— make it where the sun may shine on it, cheerful, but 
still and solemn, like the light of another life, where the 
warble of the bird and the voices of nature may gently 
wake the morn, or lull the dreamy noontide, or soothe the 
sober hour of even. Away from the din and turmoil of 
life and from the clamor and bustle of commerce ; where 
the changes of the year come each in stillness and gentle- 
ness ; where the voices of spring come like a Sabbath 
orchestra, and summer's music is like the matin or vesper 
hymn of prayer, and nature dies in autumn as man would 
like to pass, in content maturity and gentle quiet beauty, 
and winter in seemly repose and solitude waits the new- 
born and glorious life ; here we feel it is fitting to lay our 
dead on the bosom of sympathizing nature. Let the 
violet and harebell kiss the turf above them ; let the rose 
and ivy embower, and the oak and evergreen wave above 
their silent rest ; let the zephyrs, freely visiting, sigh 
through the whispering leaves with the voice of the past ; 
let the nightwind through the solemn wood wail its 
requiem for the departed ; let the moonlight stream over 
them, through the shadowy branches, like the light of 
other days, and let the stars of even, in tranquil and holy 
watch, look down upon their graves, like celestial Love 
watching their resurrection. 

" Fellow-citizens : It may not be inappropriate to remem- 
ber here, in this scene and at this hour, that of that voice 
of the dead which is to go forth of these shades, down 
coming time, we shall not only be listeners, but utterers, 
ourselves a part of it. Often may we come hither again, 


slowly and solemnly, and in tears, following those who 
shall no more behold the sun ; but I see in the future 
another coming which knows no return ; when other 
mourners shall pass sadly by, and other eyes shall weep 
because we go to our long home. Soon the mourner shall 
follow the mourned, till we, and all hearts that beat for 
us beneath these heavens, shall at last keep the long and 
silent rendezvous of the grave. Yea, I see the endless 
succession of the future hastening on, as the many 
waters of yonder mighty river, till marble after marble 
crumbles ; till the seasons weary in their round, and the 
sun grows weary in the sky, and time itself is sere and 
deathlike old. I see the world of Life itself passing, 
and Death's shadow falls over all. But Death himself 
shall perish in that hour. The great Victor of Death shall 
summon the pale prisoners of the grave, and they shall 
come forth ; and then, though voice of earth's memory 
may have perished for ages, though the rock-hewn monu- 
ment may have crumbled long cycles ago, still a record, 
written on no earthly marble, waits us in the great Doom, 
and our mortal works follow us there. May this spot, as 
often as we may visit it, remind us of that world, lest 
while we beautify the face of the grave we leave its bosom 
dark and chill and desolate ! 

"Well is it for us to remember that all our care 
and adornment of the tomb cannot avoid the doom 
or change the reality of death. Garnish and disguise 
it as we may, still it is the grave — the dark and 
narrow house. Our care for the sepulcher is simply 
reflexive in its benefits — it reacts on the living — it 
cannot wake again, or comfort in the house of dark- 
ness, the sleepers of the tomb. To it all the ways of 
life lead. No cunning of art, no wisdom of philosophy, 
can shun it. 


The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, 
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, 
Await alike the inevitable hour. 
The paths of glory lead but to the grave. 

"We cannot wrestle with death, or wrest from oblivion 
his prey. Stern, immitigable Death ! Him no tears can 
soften : no sorcery of art, no charm of beauty can beguile 
of his rage or cheat of his victim. Alas ! him we cannot 
soothe or propitiate or disarm. Dark, cruel King ! To 
him go down the revered and the lovely — the good, the 
wise, the gifted, the heroic, the beautiful, down to his 
gloomy realm. There is the awe of age, proud man- 
hood's strength, sweet childhood, and the glorious bloom 
of youth. For ages these have been his prey. Unsated, 
unpropitiated, unbribed, he waits still the loved ones from 
our arms and bosoms — inexorable Death. And vain is 
our struggle against his strength, the indomitable, the 
mighty, strongest of all beneath the Throne of the High- 
est ; vain against him are the strength of empire or the 
pride of art — the charm of innocence, or the smile of 
love, the magic of eloquence or wit or song — the life of 
the granite or the marble. To dark Oblivion's bourne 
hasten alike the glory of intellect, the acclaim of fame, 
the pride of ambition, the pageants of power, and the 
bannered battalia of war. All-conquering Death ! One, 
and only one, hath vanquished him — vanquished in his 
own blood. In that blood alone we also may conquer. 
He it is that ' liveth, and was dead ; yea, and is alive for 
evermore, and hath the keys of hell and of death.' Be 
those tombs with their sculptured instructions memorials 
to us of this great truth. Let pyramid, column and 
statue with heavenward hand, and slab with graven cheru- 
bim, who speak of immortality and point to God — let 
them be to us ever the index fingers, which time, in the 


shadow of vanity, still extends toward the world of ever- 
lasting light, pointing ever to Him who sitteth above the 
stars, "wearing the vesture dipped in blood, the Conqueror 
of death, the Achiever of immortality for man." 



Address at Middlebury, Vt., on " Genius." — Early friends in St. Louis. — 
Article on "The Moral Obligations of the Legal Profession." — 
Literary reviews. — " The Voices of History." — A " Farewell to 1850." 

IN August, 1850, Mr. Post, at the request of his old 
society, "The Philomathesean," delivered in Middle- 
bury an oration (afterward repeated in St. Louis), on 
the subject of " Genius." The occasion was the annual 
Commencement and also the Semi-Centennial of Middle- 
bury College. 

Says a newspaper: "The alumni, in shape of congress- 
men, presidents of colleges, doctors of divinity, and other 
magnates of the land, came mustering in scores from 
nearly every state in the Union " 

Of the oration the same paper observes : " Where all 
the performances were so unusually excellent as here, it 
seems a delicate matter to particularize. Our unshed 
ink, however, would cry out against the nonuser if we 
failed to mention the strikingly original, masterly, and 
just analysis of genius by Rev. Truman M. Post, of St. 

The address was something of a departure from the 
author's usual topics. Its theme was impersonal and 
belonged to the realm of " calm speculation," and its 
treatment, though graphic and aided by characteristic 
image and illustration, was largely that of a metaphysical 
analysis. It was "the primary question of that power, 
minister of success and victory to all, but belonging ex- 
clusively to none ; in each, collaborator with truth in urging 



on the great movement of humanity — the power we term 
G em us." . . . 

"The genius so called, be it real or only imaginary, 
that simply blazes and detonates athwart the vision of 
our world like a bolt of the skies and often to our view 
as random and ruinous — its movement, however dazzling 
or mighty, as barren as the furrow of the lightning in the 
heavens or of the hurricane on the deep — such genius 
were a theme certainly little appropriate to a society emi- 
nently devoted by its very name to self-culture and to 
emulation rather than worship. Nor is it a theme so 
attractive to my own mind. I believe that in the economy 
of our world the useful is the beautiful ; the mightiest the 
most normal and orderly. The stars that shine fixedly on 
in their high walks seem to me lovelier far and stronger 
than constellations shooting madly from their spheres; 
and the sun-car, moving in regular orbit up the heavens, 
not only more beneficent, but sublimer and mightier far 
than when driven by mad Phaeton blazing and blasting 
through the crackling skies. . . . 

" The worship of abnormal genius has been most per- 
nicious ; productive of false ideas and false practice ; of 
arrogant confidence, indolent pride, or paralyzing de- 
spair. The more salutary and, as we believe, more truth- 
ful view stimulates the energies of an active and emula- 
tive hope. Such a view will at present engage us. A 
Demosthenes or a Tully, a Milton or Newton, a Cuvier, a 
Pitt, a Fox, a Burke, and the like, belonging as we know 
to the cultivable and imitable type of genius, present an 
order of intellectual power high enough to satisfy our 
ambition of analysis or of imitation. . . . 

" Allowing as we must for diversities and inequalities of 
original delicacy and force, we must assign as a defini- 
tion descriptive of the mood and quality, if not the abso- 


lute essence, of genius, mind intensified or mind energetic- 
ally, concentratively and sharply attentive. This definition 
applies to genius in discovering, resolving, combining, 
vivifying, or uttering truth. For in the rapidity and 
clearness of its intuitions, the vividness and permanency 
of its impressions, or its faculty of analysis and order, of 
combination or utterance, here is the hiding of its power 
— in its ability promptly to converge the mental rays to 
a fine and burning focus on each point, in each aspect and 
relation, in singleness and succession. . . . 

"The philosophy of this relation of attention to intel- 
lectual power, and the primal principle from which a 
logical analysis of genius must start, are found in the 
fact that the mind is not properly a creator, but only 
a seer; that its great function is to behold, and that in 
the combinations of wit, or fancy, or taste, or logic, 
the mind is simply a discerner, not an originator of 
ideas and relations, and is a creator only in selecting 
and regarding certain ideas and relations and neglecting 
others ; that no act of the will can call up the requi- 
site relation or idea, but they must be waited on and 
watched for, till the laws of the association shall purvey 

"The mind cannot create an idea more than it can 
create worlds. God alone does this — God that made the 
heavens and the earth, the spiritual universe, and the soul 
of man. . . . 

"Take, now, genius in one of its happiest moods, — 
acquisitive, analytic, or creative, — when its reason seems 
insight, and its insight inspiration, and its combination 
and architecture rapid, subtle, exact, vast, and gorgeous, 
like a god's, and its memory too seems as quick and 
immortal. And mark, first, its aspect of profound and 
strong repose. It is the repose of trancelike attention, 


of concentrated, fascinated, resolved gaze upon its theme. 
The eye of the mind is open wide ; intent, silent, and fixed 
as a star. It is the telescope directed to the rolling 
sphere. God is passing in the glory of the material and 
the spiritual universe before the mind — God dwelling 
above and behind the unapproachable light, but his train 
falling down and sweeping the mortal vision — enduring 
laws of mind his ministers, and shapes intellectual and 
ideal, a mighty host, his Sabaoth. 

" The mind is now to unite in its act the seer and the 
prophet. Its mission for the hour is to see and to tell. 
But not to see and to tell all, more than the eye sees all 
the images which light builds on the optic nerve turned 
toward the outward world. . . . 

" Processes of selection, analysis, comparison, and com- 
bination, quick, subtle, and strong as the action of the 
imponderable agents of nature, — light, heat, and elec- 
tricity, — are now requisite to meet the exigencies of the 
moment. Amid that shadowy rush of ideas you need 
now to grasp some one appropriate to your present pur- 
pose, and hold it as with a clutch of steel in the focus of 
the intellectual rays, till it glows, blazes and makes full 
evolution of itself, and till relation after relation flashes 
out, and faces of truth and beauty look forth from its 
shadowiness. . . . 

" Ideas thus arrested and resolved under the analysis 
of an intense attention, and made to develop their affini- 
ties and relations, are now under the same influence 
recombined and grouped, whether by essential and perma- 
nent relations, as of cause and effect, and of intrinsic and 
enduring correspondency, or by the lighter ones of super- 
ficial or accidental affinities, or mere juxtaposition, or of 
flitting, unique, or capricious analogies. And thus recom- 
bined and grouped they are laid by in magazine, as the 


ready furniture of the mind in the future, whether of 
knowledge or embellishment, illustration or argument, or 
as the ideal archetypes of art or the organic generaliza- 
tions of philosophy. They are laid by to come forth, 
when the hour needs, in groups, chainworks, and masses, 
the glittering wreath of fancy, the playful summer flash 
of wit, the hot thick shafts of passion, the linked bolts of 
logic, or the collected storms, massing all in one, of poetry 
or oratory. Thus wrought, they are committed over to 
memory, which, under the same intense, concentrated 
action of the mind, becomes not so much recollection as 
an ever quick and living consciousness. Indeed they 
seem not so much remembered as spoiitaneously kindling 
up, when the mind is highly excited, like fireworks attached 
to the mind, ignited and discharged by its glow ; to which 
glow the mind is wrought, when a fittfng theme is pre- 
sented, by the same attention that first attached these 
combustible projectiles to it. 

" Thus it is attention to the great end, and the specific 
relation, and the precise point, following it out through 
division and subdivision, and through all complexities of 
the webwork of association — it is such an attention that 
is the genius of analysis and order and generalization, and 
of the artistic and poetic combination and creation. It is 
the same faculty or act of the mind which daguerreotypes 
and stereotypes the fugitive ideas upon the mind with a 
vividness imperishable as the mind itself. It is this, too, 
laying them by in store, classified, grouped, and compacted, 
and when the hour for their use comes throwing an 
intense irradiation into the rich and ready magazine — it 
is this that characterizes and well-nigh creates the genius 
of utterance or eloquence. . . . 

"This it is that incarnates the abstract and translates 
vague generalities into sharply defined, statuesque individ- 


ualizations. Dead terms become living, charged, electric. 
The word war, for instance, which to the superficial view 
starts only the glittering martial pageant, or the rapture 
of battle, or the pomp of victory, to the mind turning its 
converging lens upon it — what a hell yawns in its three 
kttcrs ! So art, which to the common mind walks a vague 
and cold abstraction, how to the analytic and meditative 
thought it trains along a host of the historic and ideal 
beautiful! And religion again, to the unheeding ear a 
sound so dead and often so repulsive, to the intent and 
familiar reflection, what an eloquence of sweet charities 
and holy affections, what a scenery of awful love and 
beauty, what an exceeding and unutterable weight of 
glory there is in it ! . . . 

"The faculty of attention has ever been the familiar of 
the philosopher, the artist, the poet, and the orator. . . . 

" Poetic genius, though undoubtedly implying peculiar 
original gifts, presents to us, in its moods of inspiration, 
mind in steadfast and eclectic attention to the cesthetic 
relation of things and the aspects and similitudes of life. 
Its norm of eclecticism is a feeling of life and beauty, or, 
I may rather say, of a beautiful life ; for it is attracted to 
beauty as the garment of soul — as the face of passion 
and feeling. ... » 

" What an inner world was that which grew upon the 
eye, as under the rays of an introspective attention the 
invisible handwriting and picture came on the tablet of 
the soul ! There it stood photographed ; culled from all 
that eye had seen, or ear heard, or heart conceived, or 
fancy dreamed — grouped and animate by the 'feelings 
infinite' of life and beauty — the eclectic, poetic Cosmos — 
the cesthetic reprint of the universe. There was the vast, 
varied, passionate, and phantom drama of the present ; 
the splendor of cities, the pomp of thrones, the tramp of 


armies, the clang of plumed and bristling battle ; kaleido- 
scope forms of the brave, the strong, and the beautiful; 
and there in funeral procession followed the solemn past 

of the present the gloomy and mournful shadow ; 

there, too, was imagination's brood — sons of pale Erebus 
or holy' Light, with the Scyllean rage, the enchanted gar- 
dens, and Syren's Isle. There were the crystal battle- 
ments and the sapphire blaze of heaven, and there the 
awful structures of eternal night and the gloomy palace 
of the king of hell. There wandered the happy amid 
amaranth and ever-blooming asphodel ; or zephyrs sighed 
along the stream of oblivion, and funeral trees waved 
dusky branches amid the pale skies of eternal pain. The 
white-robed walked along the streets of pearl and the 
river of life, or the lost shrieked around the City of Dis 
and the Burning Sea, or the departed stretched their 
shadowy hands across the Dark River, still longing and 
loving, toward the children of mortality. There stood 
they all, waiting the heraldry of their orchestral song — 
the archetypes of the verse that was to charm all time. 

" Oratory, again, is a kindred exhibition of attention 
guided by the peculiar exigencies and elective affinities of 
the theme, the occasion, and the object. . . . 

"The power of concentrating the energy of the mind 
with lightning; stroke and starlike steadfastness on the 
objects of this triple consciousness and on the multiplex 
and shifting aspects of the triple relation between them, 
the prerogative of the Genius of Persuasion. It is only 
when all the elements of the triple relation are vast and 
noble that the highest order of eloquence is born — the 
theme great — the auditory great, in power, character, or 
destiny, and an end moving and mighty. When all these 
are great, speech is great if uttered by a mind whose 
attention develops their greatness. Ofttimes the light 



and inattentive glance will fail to detect it even if pres- 
ent. But in case of such failure in regard to either of 
these, one element of the highest eloquence is wanting. 
The mind of the preacher, for instance, must not only 
sympathize with the vastness of the doctrine he unfolds, 
and of the end to which he would persuade, but must see 
before him, not merely so many weak, ignorant, and sinful 
men and women, but an assembly of the heirs of eternity 
— bearing in themselves the destiny of gods for weal or 
woe, for glory or shame. . . . 

" At such times appears the full glory of the orator, 
perhaps that of the loftiest attitude among men — almost 
as of a superior being swaying the will and reason as he 
lists — instinctively grasping at once a multitude of heart- 
strings, and sweeping them in symphony with his own 
passion, and hurling forth over the astounded auditory 
the bolts, fiery or beautiful, riving and overthrowing all in 
their path. An embattled storm, a veritable cloud com- 
peller, he moves along his victorious march. Above and 
beyond himself — yea, above and beyond man — almost 
an inspired revelator seems he — yea, almost a very reve- 
lation, he stands before us in such an hour, an incarnated 
idea, a living logic, a fire-lipped thought. 

" Demosthenes is no longer Demosthenes, but Greece 
herself — trampled, torn, bleeding, yet beautiful — start- 
ing one glorious moment in her mighty despair, lifting 
her hand to the blue heavens over her heroic dead, and 
swearing her great oath. 

" Cicero is no longer Cicero, but the awful Genius of 
eternal Rome herself, in death-grapple with assassins. 

" Paul is no longer Paul, of stammering speech and 
feeble presence. He has put on 'the Crucified.' He is 
an impersonation of the everlasting gospel, with logic and 
love kindled at the unapproachable Glory. 


" Ames is no longer the senator — broken and bowed 
with pale consumption. His port rises to the awful ear- 
nestness and command of the Genius of Humanity itself, 
with intellectual buckler beating back from the land the 
storm of war — and pouring warning and wail upon the 
ears of the pale senate. His voice is the cry of woe from 
a thousand log-cabins beyond the mountains — the shriek 
of a thousand miles of frontier burning with savage war. 

" Whitefield is no longer Whitefield, but the great doom 
itself impersonate, summoning a pale and conscience- 
stricken world to the bar of eternal judgment. . . . 

" Permit me, young gentlemen, to allude, in conclusion, 
to another relation of my subject : one most important of 
all, yea, of infinite solemnity. In the conduct and direc- 
tion of the attention lie moral destinies for both worlds. 
We grow like that we look on, be it of heaven or hell. 
The attention is the direction of the soul — a direction 
prophetic and determinative of its eternal career — its 
outreach and movement towards the everlasting. The 
mind follows its intellectual ray projected upon the 
universe, be it toward light or gloom. If attention is 
genius, its direction is destiny. This determines whether 
genius shall be of glory or of shame, of heaven or 
hell. This controls our moral sentiments and is the 
key to our moral character. Directed to a narrow and 
partial circle of truths, political, philosophical, or reli- 
gious, it makes the bigot, the fanatic, and the moral or 
social lunatic ; and will lead man to imagine that the 
heavens and the earth were of old fashioned according to 
its formularies. Directed to the mere letter and outworks 
of Christianity, to mere visible forms of order, creed, or 
ceremonial, it dooms the mind to imprisonment of its 
reason and charity within them as a Bastile — degrades 
and enslaves the soul, and condemns it to grind all its 



days in gloom and shame and fear ; fixed contrariwise on 
the spirit and life of Christianity, it makes a spiritual 
freeman, godlike expansiveness of intellect and soul. 

" Bear it in mind, then, that our themes of steadfast 
and habitual thought shape and doom the soul. Turning 
from the good and persistingly gazing on the evil, the 
mind establishes its gravitations toward the eternal night. 
The bands of association become chains of darkness bind- 
ing to the gates of hell. Mighty it still may be, but with 
the fame of a fallen angel. Oh ! there are minds — a vast 
and gloomy army of them — starlike in their birth and lit 
up of God to shine forever beside his throne ; but whose 
intellectual ray, alas, turned ever toward the outer dark, 
drew them down forevermore. Comet minds there are 
which, like those wanderers of immensity, whichever side 
the orb of light they turn, project their ray ever to the 
opposite realm of night. Drawn though they may be 
within the very verge of heaven, still turns their vision 
ever to the nether glooms ; and hurrying in seeming 
impatience and pain through their perihelion, they follow 
their projected visual ray into the dark and infinite void. 
The face of Evil, gazed on, throws out its baleful assimila- 
tive influence and its bands of deadly fascination, and 
draws them within its malignant sphere forever, while of 
the sons of light a different destiny follows a different 
mental gaze. They shall be like God, for they shall see 
him as lie is." 

The early life in St. Louis possesses no little interest 
from its social environment. Among the many warm 
friends of that period were some men then and after- 
wards very famous, such as Edward Bates, Henry S. Geyer, 
Hamilton R. Gamble, Roswell Field, and Judge Leonard, 
all of whom were at the front of the St. Louis bar. 



The acquaintance with Mr. Bates, dating back to the 
first days in St. Louis, grew warm and intimate during 
the political troubles that culminated in the Civil War ; 
and after Mr. Bates' return from Washington to St. Louis 
the ties grew stronger than ever. 

With Mr. Geyer his relations, though not so intimate, 
were those of a cordial friendship, in spite of the fact that 
Mr. Geyer was of the proslavery, Democratic school, and 
professed no great fondness for " Yankees " in general. 

Mr. Field and Judge Leonard were both from Vermont. 
The former was at Middlebury College at nearly the same 
period as Mr. Post. And, although his opinions on reli- 
gious subjects were such that he had little to do with the 
clergy as a rule, his friendship with Mr. Post terminated 
only with his death. 

The personal and family associations of Mr. Post with 
Frank P. Blair and Samuel T. Glover were very intimate, 
but of later growth, and are referred to hereafter. 

Apropos of the St. Louis bar in those days may be 
mentioned an article appearing in The St. Louis Intelli- 
gencer over the signature of Civis, and entitled "The 
Moral Obligations of the Legal Profession." It was pub- 
lished shortly before the time when the Montesquieus 
were tried for murder committed at the City Hotel. That 
tragedy was one of the most startling and appalling in the 
local annals of crime. Mobs gathered about the jail, and 
the air was full of threats of Lynch law for days after- 
wards. At the trial an array most rare indeed of legal 
talent was marshaled, both for the state and the prisoners, 
and there lacked nothing in the history of that homicide 
to place it among the most famous causes celcbres in the 
criminal calendar. 

Hence it will be readily understood that the publication 
of this article, just as the trial was coming on and while 

i 9 4 


public sentiment was at white heat, and its masterly dis- 
cussion of the legitimate province of the bar in defending 
criminals, its arraignment of the practices too often 
employed to shield them from justice, and its warnings 
against the dangers in store for a community where such 
practices were successfully resorted to, made a widespread 
and profound impression in St. Louis. 

The years 1848, 1849, 1850, and 1851 were very prolific 
in literary work, outside of the pulpit. And in addition 
to the public addresses already referred to, among the 
products of his pen should be mentioned a large number 
of contributions by Mr. Post to The St. Louis Intelligencer, 
reviewing various new publications on the shelves of Skil- 
man's bookstore. There were more than a hundred of 
these notices, some of them — such as those on John 
Randolph and William Wirt — very elaborate, and all 
prepared within a few months, and in the midst of pulpit 
and parish and other multifarious and pressing demands. 

Together with many other articles written for the press, 
often over assumed signatures, these notices were clipped 
from the newspaper columns by the same careful hand 
that copied them for the printer, and were pasted away in 
a scrapbook, with the thought that they might be read and 
treasured afterward by the children and grandchildren. 

About the same time with the Skilman bookstore 
notices, in January, 185 1, Mr. Post lectured before the 
Mercantile Library Association on " The Voices of His- 
tory." This lecture was one of a series, delivered before 
this Association, which included discourses by Father 
Smarius, of the St. Louis University, and other popular 
lecturers and representative men. These " Voices," by the 
stories of parties and sects and empires of former ages, 
are calling to the worshiper of the present, to the idolizer 



of country, to those under thrall of sectional or class 
prejudice, to the idolater of the past, to the reformer, to 
the religious sectarist, to the political partisan, to the 
lover of fame ; warning against vainglory, teaching humil- 
ity and steadfast courage and faith and foretelling the 
coming of that kingdom — "the stone cut out of the 
mountain without hand " — which is to fill the earth. The 
address has an elegiac ending, not unlike that at the dedi- 
cation of Bellefontaine. 

Touching "The Voices of History" and the literary 
notices there was an editorial in The Intelligencer, a part 
of which is quoted : — 

" Professor Post is pastor of the Third Presbyterian 
Church of St. Louis, situated on Sixth Street, above 
Franklin Avenue. As pastor of that church he is known 
— known favorably for the possession of those kindly 
graces of the clerical and Christian life which endear a 
minister to his flock. Those over whom he is placed love 
and cherish him as the ' shepherd and bishop of their 
souls,' abundantly satisfied with his constant and lumi- 
nous teachings of Christian duty, and justly proud of his 
moral worth and intellectual strength. 

" But it is not alone in this quiet and humble sphere 
that Professor Post has made himself a name and caused 
his power to be felt. The time has come when more 
should be known — when the quiet and thoughtful minis- 
ter of a St. Louis church should be known and acknowl- 
edged as one of the most industrious students, profound 
thinkers, and eloquent writers that our country can 
boast of. 

" The literary reviews that have appeared from week 
to week in the columns of The Intelligencer since the 
date of its establishment have attracted wide attention. 
Both at home and abroad they have excited a quick 


interest in the minds of scholars, and many compliments 
have poured in congratulating the paper on the posses- 
sion of so able a department, and from the literary world 
of the eastern cities the question has frequently come, 
'Who is the writer of those reviews?' 

" The beautiful address delivered by Professor Post on 
the dedication of Bellefontaine Cemetery introduced him 
in a most favorable manner to the public mind in St. 
Louis. The present production, ' The Voices of History,' 
renews that introduction, and confirms its distinguished 
author in the public estimation as one henceforth to be 
prized as an honor to the city and to the West. 

" Desiring to do our part in awarding to Professor Post 
his now merited and inevitable position in the world of 
letters, at the risk of offending his taste and his judgment, 
we make public the fact that he is the reviewer whose pen 
has so greatly enriched our columns. To the grace of his 
pen and to his brilliant imagination and rich storehouse of 
scientific, poetic, and historic knowledge we are indebted 
for all under the head of Literary Reviews that has ren- 
dered the Intelligencer so interesting and instructive. 

"We commend 'The Voices of History' to every reader. 
It is a good type of the author's mind and mode of 
thought, and a fair specimen of his lofty, grand, and poetic 
style. . . . 

" There is something grandly apocalyptic in the theme 
and in the discourse, and the mind rests from the rapt 
study of the moving panorama of the past, and strangely 
rejoices at having been ' snatched up ' from the narrow 
fixedness of time and permitted to enjoy a sweep of view 
around portions of that all-comprehending circle which is 

The St. Louis Intelligencer was at this time, and during 
the years immediately following, an active and enterpris- 


ing and quite promising newspaper, ably conducted by 
Mr. A. S. Mitchell, who was a personal friend and warm 
admirer of Mr. Post. In this connection the fact may be 
mentioned that the latter not infrequently wrote articles 
and sometimes editorials for this journal, although the 
authorship was not given. 

Here, by way of illustration, is a leader written by him, 
headed, "A Farewell to 1850," and appearing in the issue 
of January 1, 1851: — 

" I love thee, Old Year, for what thou hast taken away. 
Thou hast covered the faces of the revered and the beau- 
tiful ; thou hast quenched the eye of genius ; thou hast 
sealed the lip of eloquence ; thou hast hushed the music 
of love ; thou hast borne away untold riches of charities 
and joys, and golden opportunity, and blessed privilege ; 
thou bearest away with thee forever much of my earthly 
history. Oh, what a wealth of heart and soul, of thought 
and hope and affection, thou buriest in thy silent bosom ! 

" Yea, I love thee for the dark hours thou hast minis- 
tered ; the agonizing vigil, the nights of pain, and all the 
stern but truthful monitorship of grief. I thank thee for 
their faithful whispers. Blessed angels I know they were, 
though their faces were veiled in gloom, like yon dusky 
night, through which the clearer shine the heavens. 
They fade — but ah ! their record, never ! I fear thee, 
Old Year ! I shrink with awe when I think of the 
immortal chronicle thou hast writ on leaves above the 
stars — the Book of God — the Book of Character — the 
Book of Doom. Ah, me ! what guilty purposes, vain 
desires, and pleasant sins, what careless shadows and 
unconscious slurs on souls I love, stand against me there ! 
Still I thank thee, Old Year, that thou whisperest me 
with thy parting breath of the great cleansing Life Foun- 
tain, where all this crimson may become white forever. 


" I honor thee, too, Old Year. Art thou the first or 
latest born of thy half cycle, not unchronicled or unsung 
shalt thou be in the great hereafter. Though thy foot 
has not been shod with revolution or with war, still we 
know it has been onward. It has fallen in the silence of 
the night in the dungeon and the palace of the Oppressor 
and the Despot like the tread of doom, and on the ear of 
the dark millions like the trump of Jubilee. It has borne 
on the march of humanity in the Old World and the New, 
ami thrown more clearly over the dark waters of time 
the morning-red of a better era of light and liberty 
and love. Though storms, not yet laid, have lowered 
upon our American Empire, and reaction, dastardly or 
bloody, sits on carnage in Naples and Rome and Vienna 
and Paris, still we know thou hast labored at the wheel 
of change by the command of God who sent thee, and 
hast brought the earth, whether we see or not, toward the 
Upper Light. Farewell, brave 1850! Fare thee well! 
not to oblivion, but to history and to fame! Thou hast 
left the achievements of art and genius, of eloquence and 
science and song, and of heroic and martyr virtues in thy 
track. Still, fare thee well ! Much as I love thee, I 
would not, were I an Orpheus, call thee back from the 
world of shadows, or walk thy round with thee again, to 
unseal anew the closed fount of sorrows, or undo the fin- 
ished, hallowed suffering, or again to struggle and again 
to fall. 

" Now, Old Year, farewell ! Ha ! who echoed that 
' Farewell ' ? Was it the night wind sighing along the 
casement ? Or came it so stilly from the place of graves? 
I look forth on the solemn night. Shadows dim flit spec- 
trally along the wall and street, and seem in fantastic 
shift, as they mingle with the forms of late and lone wan- 
derers, to change to shapes of my departed hours. A 


I 99 

melancholy funeral procession ! But they are only spec- 
ters. There is no speech or speculation in them. 'T was 
not their voice. I look above — there burns Orion in the 
sky, as he burned over the birth-year of time, and will 
burn over his last ; yea, as he burned over my own far- 
fled years of dreamlike childhood and glorious youth. 
But beyond his fires I see them — the shining faces — 
the loved and faded from the earth. There, there they 
live and love. They beckon me with their white hands, 
but no whisper comes, save rifts of angel melodies from 
that far world. 

" ' Farewell ! ' The echo comes again. Ah ! I see it 
now. It was the sigh of the dying year, whose latest 
shadow now lingers upon yonder sky like a film cloud 
across the moon. ' Farewell ! ' I hear it whisper, ' I wish 
thee joy of my newborn brother. May the wings of all 
his hours be tipped for thee with gold. Use him well, 
but trust him not too much. The rosy hues of youth are 
now upon his eye, and his pencil is dipped in dreams ; but 
he will not love thee more than I have done, and may not 
serve thee better. Much he will surely take away of what 
thou lovest — much of thy swift-winged life — he may 
bear off all ; at least, his pinions, be they of ebony or 
gold, shall waft thee nearer life's solemn close and nearer 
the eternal doom. May they fit thee for it, calm thy pas- 
sions, temper thy hopes, reform thy evil, and bring thee 
gentle charity, true wisdom, and heavenly love. In this 
solemn night and solitude be thy life's fever soothed and 
the strife of thy life's battle stayed ; and be thy hates, 
political and personal, if such thou hast, subdued to sym- 
pathy and pity ; directed, as this hour reminds thee, 
against the fellows of thy frailty and thy transientness, 
whose life, like thine, is but as the wind in yonder silent 
sky, that passeth away and cometh not again. To higher 


passions, holier moods, better and milder thoughts, to 
more charitable judgments and the behests of duty, piety, 
and love, be thy soul attuned, as committing thee to the 
mysterious future, I wish thee a blessed and a beautiful 
coming year. 

" • Farewell ! When suns are quenched and stars are 
fallen, before the Great White Throne we meet again. I 
bear thee record there ! ' " 



Struggle of Congregationalism, and founding of the First Congregational 
Church in St. Louis. — Address on "Congregationalism; and the 
Expediency of forming a Congregational Church." — The St. Louis 
home. — Incidents in 1852-54. — Sundry addresses in the East. 

IT may seem strange now, in this year of 1891, when 
Congregationalism in Missouri is not only an admitted 
institution but a very prominent and influential factor in 
the religious and political life of the state, having in its 
associations over sixty pastors and eighty churches, and a 
following of six thousand members, and, in numbers and 
wealth and enterprise, keeping abreast with the most 
advanced growth of this commonwealth, that in the days 
of 1850-51 it was looked upon as an intruder and its 
presence there challenged and almost interdicted. 

At that time it will be remembered that St. Louis was 
without a rival in the Mississippi Valley ; with an im- 
mense river commerce unhampered by railway competi- 
tion and forging onward in population and wealth with an 
increment more rapid than before or since. In trade and 
travel it was then the key to Missouri. It was the focal 
point of her enterprise and also of her intelligence ; and 
immigration and "isms" from all quarters were swarming 
thither and obtaining a foothold and becoming a part of its 
complicated nexus of life and growth. There was then a 
large eastern population in St. Louis, with Congregational 
antecedents and in other religious connections, but no 
Congregational church had been started there or had 
taken root anywhere in Missouri. Such an one is said 


to have been organized in Arcadia in 1840, which had "a 
name to live" for a brief season, but was an exotic that 
did not survive its first decade. This is understood to 
have been the only figment of a Congregational church 
which, prior to the movement here chronicled, had an 
existence in the state. At all events it was at St. Louis, 
in 1S51, that Congregationalism, then a stranger and an 
alien, crossed the Mississippi and planted its standard 
and fought its first battle, and the battle which fixed its 
destinies in Missouri from that time forward. 

That period is of deep interest to Congregationalists, 
not only by reason of this fact, but also because in that 
controversy more than in most phases of its history, the 
first principles of Congregationalism were called in ques- 
tion and were laid bare and collated and tersely stated 
and discussed on reason and authority. While in New 
England it was a primitive growth, always recognized as 
a part of her history and institutions, in Missouri it was 
called to a halt and compelled to declare itself and cham- 
pion its own right to exist ; and its tenets and the logic 
and historical precedents which supported them were 
sharply tested in the ordeal. 

This opposition to Congregationalism may have been 
partly owing to the fact that the dominant sentiment in 
St. Louis was southern and proslavery, and that a denom- 
ination having in it so much of the atmosphere of the 
New England hills would be out of place, if not in open 
antagonism, in a slave-holding community ; although it 
was a fact that other churches — as conspicuously in the 
case of Unitarianism — obnoxious by reason of the same 
objection, were founded and flourished in St. Louis with- 
out opposition. A secret spring of the antagonism from 
certain sources may be traced to another fact already 
referred to, namely, that eastern Congregationalists, 


finding no house of worship of their own order in St. Louis, 
would make, as they had for a long time before made, 
most excellent timber for churches of a different school, 
and such churches would therefore suffer from failure of 
new accretions if indeed not also from withdrawal of 
memberships. But the special "root of bitterness" was 
because the First Congregational Church had developed 
from the chrysalis of a Presbyterian one ; and the change 
was charged to have been the work of a "proselyting 
propagandist," and due to unfair and underhand methods. 

Let it be said in this connection that it is not the pur- 
pose here to write a chapter on Congregational history, 
or to resurrect denominational animosities, long since 
dead and buried. Among the most intimate and enduring 
church fellowships in the subsequent years were those, on 
the part of both minister and people, between the First 
Congregational Church and two of the leading Presbyte- 
rian churches in St. Louis. The sole object of this chap- 
ter is to furnish such outline as may be necessary to the 
understanding of a prominent and significant epoch in the 
life of Mr. Post ; and the reader will so interpret what is 
here said. 

In brief, the facts are that there had been in the Third 
Church, from its organization, an eastern element, with a 
natural predilection for Congregationalism, and there had 
also grown up during the four years of Mr. Post's stay in 
St. Louis an ardent personal attachment on the part of 
the church and congregation for himself. His views on 
church order, and the contingency of his leaving in 185 1, 
had been understood at the outset, and the strong New 
England sentiment in the church had combined with a 
general wish to retain him as a permanent pastor, in bring- 
ing to a head the project of forming a Congregational 
church. But it is also a fact not to be forgotten that 



during the movement which had this result Mr. Post 
sedulously held aloof from any participation in discussions 
or meetings, and even from personal conversations calcu- 
lated to affect such movement, and that the only aid 
received from him was the silent influence on his part 
inevitably resulting from the attachment of his people 
and his known denominational preferences. It was not 
until the decisive step toward the formation of a Congre- 
gational church had been taken that Mr. Post broke the 
silence to which, during this exciting crisis, he had 
restrained himself, and became the champion of Congre- 
gationalism in St. Louis. 

At the first inception of this enterprise it embraced 
within its ranks a majority of the church, while a small 
minority most strenuously opposed it. It also met with 
attacks from a portion of the pulpit and religious press 
in St. Louis and elsewhere. But, in spite of dissension 
within and assaults from without, it was determined early 
in the winter of 1851-52, by a vote of sixty-two to 
twenty-four, to form the new church, the majority offer- 
ing to buy out the minority at eighty per cent, of the 
value of their holdings, or to sell their own interest at a 
less per cent. The former settlement was in fact made. 

After the decisive vote had been taken, although prior 
to the organization of the new church, on the formal invi- 
tation of Hudson E. Bridge, Carlos Greeley, and Judges 
John M. Krum and Samuel Treat, and a number of other 
prominent representative men of St. Louis, neither con- 
nected with the movement nor Congregationalists, Mr. 
Post gave, at the Third Church, on January 11, 1852, an 
address, the title of which had been suggested, not by Mr. 
Post, but in the invitation, on " Congregationalism ; and 
the Expediency of Forming a Congregational Church in 
St. Louis." 


The discourse declares the organic principles of this 
denomination, namely, the Scriptures as the only authori- 
tative instrument creative and regulative of church polity, 
the completeness and independence of the local church 
and the sovereignty of the brotherhood, and the Bible 
alone as the book of government, law, judicature, and 

These principles were defended on reason and Scripture 
precedent, and on apostolic and primitive usage, and by 
citations from pulpits outside of the lines of Congrega- 
tionalism, such as Mosheim, the Magdeburg Centuriators, 
Father Paul of Venice, and Neander. The lecture traces 
the power and pregnant influence of this order in Eng- 
land, through the Revolution of 1640, and afterwards in 
New England history, and on the institutions of America. 
And the question is then put : " Do not her character and 
history and the number of her sons here, and the cause of 
her great Head, require that she should have one church 
here in the heart of this great American domain, of which 
she has been so primordial and mighty an architect ? " 

The discussion of this latter question sheds no little 
light upon the difficulties that beset the progress of Con- 
gregationalism in Missouri and upon the grounds and 
methods of opposition which at the present time one 
would hardly imagine could ever have been invoked. 
And the entire lecture, of which the above is a meager 
and very imperfect synopsis, should be read in connection 
with this part of the narrative, not merely as an exposi- 
tion of Congregationalism, but also as a statement of its 
position in St. Louis in 1851. 

March 14, 1852, dates the organization of the First 
Trinitarian Congregational Church of St. Louis, "a name," 
says Dr. Post, in his historical discourse delivered in 


i860, "assumed in no sectarian challenge or arrogation, 
but simply as descriptive of its faith, order, and history; 
in faith, Trinitarian ; in order, Congregational ; in history, 
the first of such faith and order in the state." On that 
occasion were present and participating in the exercises 
Rev. Mr. Mears, of Quincy, and Julian M. Sturtevant, 
President of Illinois College. 

The organization of the new church did not by any 
means put an end to the crusade against it. And, as may 
be inferred from what has been said, the controversy 
involved something more than the shock of religious 
opinions; it engendered a good deal of acrimony and 
produced a number of attacks through the press, not only 
upon the infant church, but upon the pastor and upon his 
personal conduct and motives. 

Conspicuous among these assaults was one from the 
editor of an eastern religious journal of high standing, 
alleging that the Congregational church was the work of 
a few restless agitators, and that the course pursued by 
the pastor was that of a propagandist in disguise. The 
reply of Mr. Post which appeared in The New York Inde- 
pendent in May, 1852, was a full and succinct review, over 
his own signature, of the movement establishing that 
church, and a defense against the aspersions and false 
charges thrown upon the enterprise and its promoters. 
The vindication was complete, and with it virtually 
ended all further agitation touching Congregationalism in 

It having been settled, though no formal installation 
ever took place, that Mr. Post should become the pastor 
of the new church, and all thought of returning to Jack- 
sonville having been abandoned, he began to think of a 
home in St. Louis ; something more than a tenement at 


the mercy of the landlord, sealed up among other build- 
ings, and half smothered in smoke and macadam dust 
— a house which the occupant might call his own, with 
playground and garden, where the pure air and sunshine 
would visit, and by-and-by pleasant memories might come 
and build their nests, even though they should not replace 
the recollections of the Jacksonville "Eden." 

So in the fall of 185 1, at the famous sale of "Stoddard's 
Addition," Mr. Post made purchase of a small tract of 
land, then well out in the country and separated from 
town by a belt of timber ; and on this site, in the follow- 
ing year, he built a dwelling house, which was occupied 
in the autumn of 1852. From its roof was a wide and 
then unbroken prospect away to the southwest, extending, 
in clear weather, as far as the bluffs of the Meramec. 
The house stood on an open moorland, which, with its 
greensward and numerous ponds, — some of them lakes 
in size and fed with living springs, — presented a picture 
like that of a natural park. Airs. Post gave to the new 
habitation the name of " /Eolian Castle," and in the early 
days, before houses were built about it, the winds of night 
were wont to sing their lullabies through its crannies, and 
many a summer's gale and fierce northwester used to beat 
upon its unprotected walls. The little plat of ground 
about it was large enough to create enthusiastic zeal in 
all sorts of husbandry, and under the supervision of Mrs. 
Post the terrace next the house was made to bloom with 
roses, while the yard to the east of it was swarded and 
planted with orchard trees that soon yielded abundantly 
most delicious apples and peaches. Very sunny mem- 
ories cluster about the first years in this new home. 
There the children grew together, in a circle unbroken 
by death or separation, unto youth and early manhood 
and womanhood. The house was then brimful of social 


life ; of church entertainments ; of visits from new-found 
friends ; ami of reunions not a few — for the bonds of 
kinsmanship were then very many and strong — of rela- 
tives gathered from the west and from far away in the 
east. Among the guests of those days were some men 
very famous ; notably on one occasion, early in the fifties, 
Frank P. and Montgomery Blair, Salmon P. Chase, and 
Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

Of this old family mansion, it may not be anticipating 
too much to say here that it continued to be the residence 
of Mr. Post till the day of his death and has never gone 
into the hands of strangers. The house has been painted 
and repainted, and is somewhat altered, but not enough 
to mar its identity. The orchard has ceased to flourish 
and the city is close about the place in all directions. 
The homestead building, after its nearly forty years of 
service, is, like all things earthly, gradually lapsing into a 
decline, and the memories that have gathered about it in 
the recent years are of the shadier hue — some of them 
solemn and saintly. In the study room of the third 
story, removed from the noise of the house and the 
street, was the laboratory where Mr. Post wrought out 
his busiest and most earnest lifework. In the western 
chamber below, Mrs. Post and a beloved daughter passed 
away ; and in the later years of his life the room opposite 
was both sleeping apartment and study, where Mr. Post 
spent much of his time by himself among his books and 
manuscripts and where he at last answered the call of his 

Quite a conspicuous and memorable occurrence, owing 
to the fact that the trip was through regions often of 
almost virgin wilderness and along shores inhabited by 
the red man, and also from the goodly company of promi- 


nent and representative St. Louisians who made up the 
party, was the excursion in 1852, up the Mississippi to 
Fort Snelling and the Falls of St. Anthony, on the 
steamer Die Vernon, under the charge of John S. 
McCune, then and since widely known in river annals, 
and at that time president of the board of trustees of the 
Congregational church. Among the passengers was 
Henry S. Geyer, already mentioned, then very famous at 
the bar and afterwards United States senator. Of this 
trip an account, from the pen of Mr. Post, character- 
istically graphic and picturesque, afterward appeared in 

The church during this period showed marked pros- 
perity in things temporal and spiritual. The spring 
of 1853 witnessed a special religious awakening. Aside 
from the assistance of Rev. Edwin Johnson, of Jackson- 
ville, " the labor of the meetings," writes a correspondent, 
"as far as regards the ministrations of the Word, for 
more than a month, almost nightly, devolved on the 
pastor." On the last day of March, thirty-four were 
added to the church — thirty on profession. 

Lyceum lectures were then very much in vogue, and in 
February, 1854, a series was billed in Alton, where Rev. 
Dr. Gassaway, of St. George's Church, and Mr. Post 
were to alternate as speakers. On February 16, the 
latter was to have lectured there, but for mutual con- 
venience Dr. Gassaway took his place, and was instantly 
killed on board the steamer Kate Kearney when her 
boilers exploded at the St. Louis wharf. 

During the same month Mr. Post delivered a course of 
lectures at home before the Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation, which were. to have been followed by others from 


Dr. Gassaway. Of this melancholy tragedy Mr. Post said 
at the beginning of the lecture — and his words take an 
added significance and solemnity when one thinks of the 
mysterious crossing of these destinies: — 

" The speaker I had hoped to announce is not here 
to-night ; no, nor shall he ever be. He is this night with 
another assemblage — ■ the vast and voiceless congregation 
in yonder silent city of the dead, that grows to our own 
as its shadow. The lips that should have taken up and 
continued the argument are sealed till the heavens and 
the earth be no more. . 

"As I stand here thus, I feel how awful are the words we 
utter. We utter them in the ear of God, and God alone 
is our everlasting auditor. I feel how small a matter is 
human censure or praise, when I reflect that one of those 
whose according and approving opinion I most valued 
has, as it were, even while I have been speaking, passed 
to the circles of eternity. Pulseless and cold forever now 
the hand that on last Tuesday, within this hall, grasped 
my own with all a brother's true-hearted sympathy and 
encouragement. Changed of God and fading to a mem- 
ory, that face that then beamed on me with the light of 
an earnest and genial soul. 

" Such is the hour. A grief and awe are on it ; and I 
seem as if now stepping aside for the dead to speak. 
The program projected changes to the funeral order. 
The course, now ever unfinished, dies away into the ever- 
lasting silence. The voice whose accents we waited to 
take it up passes to the awful eloquence of the grave ; 
yea, rises to the mightier argument of those who dwell 
not in houses of clay. May that eloquence instruct us 
in lessons which the utterances of this life could never 
teach !" 


In 1854 the ordeal through which the First Congrega- 
tional Church had passed, and the " fierce light " which 
"beat upon" its history, and its position "solitary and 
alone," on the frontier line and in the Queen City of the 
valley, and its championship by the pastor, together with 
his general reputation through addresses and contributions 
to the press, had brought Mr. Post into prominent notice 
among the Congregationalists in New York and New Eng- 
land. Accordingly we find this year 1854 quite prolific 
in invitations to deliver addresses and to respond to calls 
at various religious and benevolent reunions in the east. 

Thus, at the annual meeting of the Congregational 
Union, the distinctive national convention of Congrega- 
tionalism, held in Brooklyn, N. Y., on May 10, 1854, and 
on the same occasion with discourses by Dr. Edwards 
Park, of Andover, and Dr. Leonard Bacon, of New Haven, 
was one by Mr. Post, prepared in response to an invitation 
sent to St. Louis, on " The Mission of Congregationalism 
in the West." 

The address referred to that " ever-drifting natal Delos 
of new nations following the sun in his flight," the "social 
deep momently crystallizing to the marble and granite of 
new worlds," and calling for " the mightiest powers for 
social fusion and assimilation and for the creation of 
Christian civilization " ; and the adaptation of Congrega- 
tionalism to the new west, its harmony with the demo- 
cratic spirit of that region, and its natural sympathy with, 
liberty and the bold philosophic methods of the west- 
ern mind, and the relations of order and liberty in its 
system, were the prominent themes of the discourse. 

A similar order was selected by the divine Spirit as an 
evangelizer, in the primitive ages, and in a melange of 
nations presenting in greater force the difficulties sup- 
posed now to exclude Congregationalism from the west. 


No denominations in the west have prospered more 
than those with principles and forms of polity correspond- 
ing in the main with hers. But with Congregationalism, 
till within a few years, "a sort of compromise seems to 
have been supposed to forbid the assertion of her distinc- 
tive individuality beyond certain lines of longitude. She 
became in consequence a mere local arrangement, a glebe 
polity, an accident of time ami place and of certain 
phases of civilization, not a matter of essential and 
enduring principle at all." And this relation of compro- 
mise "reacted on the churches and theological schools in 
the land peculiarly her own. It neutralized her denomi- 
national spirit, took away her self-appreciation, and 
silenced her pulpit and lecture room on the subject of 
church polity. . . . And she became first silent, then 
indifferent, and gradually even ignorant in regard to her 
own principles. 

"Is it wonderful that Congregationalism did not thrive 
vigorously under the auspices of such a polity ? Does it 
not show great vitality that she lived at all ? " 

Western churches distinctively Congregational were 
in consequence of the causes referred to "for the most 
part isolated and weak, with no press and no organ, girt 
around and overlaid by vast and powerful systems with 
well-furnished appliances for self-advocacy and extension. 
Is it any wonder that they were misunderstood first in 
the west and then in the east ? " Is it strange that such 
churches "without kindly counsel or strengthening fellow- 
ship should have often withered away" ? 

" Still, with all their trials of position and history, the 
Congregational churches as a body need shrink from com- 
parison with no other in the west. They have already 
wrought there a truly great and noble Christian work. 
The trial of Congregationalism there, even amid such 


discouragements, is a triumphant vindication of her claim 
as an evangelizing and organizing power. . . . 

"A church that truly holds up the Pilgrim banner, 
though it stands alone, shines afar. It stands as a con- 
stant representative and suggester of vast and potent 
truths. Could it simply deposit these truths in the germ 
of nascent communities and then die, it would be a 
mighty benefactor. It will have infused a leaven des- 
tined to work in coming times, through all the economy 
of the social and religious world. Much more will it be 
a power for good, if, as it may be hoped, as a living light 
it shall pour its perpetual beams on all the future. . . . 

" Of you, brethren, who dwell in the old land, the mis- 
sion of Congregationalism at the west demands that you 
follow your exiles there with your interest and affec- 
tions, your letters, your newspapers, your counsels, your 
prayers, and, as far as practicable and requisite, with 
material aid to those who are compelled at the same time 
to build the church, the schoolhouse, and the cabin in the 
wilderness ; certainly do not withdraw trust and sympathy 
because fidelity to your principles of church order may 
have brought on them the strife of tongues. Believe not 
all rumors. Try them. Respect your principles and 
those who respect them ; teach them to your children, 
your churches, your theological seminaries, and send them 
with your sons to the west. Especially — and this I say 
in reference to all classes and interests, and not those 
ecclesiastical only — cease lionizing renegades, political, 
moral, or ecclesiastical. Cease worshiping mere success, 
irrespective of the question of its mode of attainment. 
Let New England have done forever with wandering after 
all demagogues in church or state that bring back to the 
old mother as trophies of success what are only wages of 
shame, the bribes for which they have sold their 


" Use well and wisely, brethren, your influence of met- 
ropolitan position. It is mighty; we feel your power — 
the power of your thought, opinion, and affection. 
Strong still are the ties that bind us to you. Your 
exiled sons bear ever a lengthened chain. We wear it by 
the pictured rocks of Superior, the distant falls of the 
Missouri, and to the Pacific seas. We feel your heart- 
beat across a continent. We are of you still. Your land 
of rock and glen, of gray cliff and crystal lake, your mel- 
ancholy pines and lofty solitudes, your glorious mountains 
and free old solemn sea — oh! they come to us in our 
dreams ! they come with the faces of memory, living 
brows on which still beat life's storm, and with the mighty 
spell of many graves — the graves of honored fathers; of 
brothers that have fallen in their strength, and gentle 
sisters who sleep in silent beauty on the distant hillside, 
and mothers whose holy love still looks out on us from 
the green mound in the shadows of the church or in dells 
over which the awful mountains keep guard like angels 
of the resurrection. Oh ! from all that magnificent and 
boundless realm where your wandering brethren and chil- 
dren seek a home, from the mystic springs of the Missis- 
sippi and the tropical magnificence of the Southern Gulf 
to the Dalles of the Oregon and the Alps of gold ; from 
lone prairie and forest and desert, and the roar of mighty 
streams, and from chambers in the cities of the plague — 
thick as beams of the setting sun, the West rays on you 
her thought, from hearts and homes past number, weav- 
ing the million-threaded web that binds still our lives 
together. Through these threads, as strings electric, we 
are acted on and react. 

"The east, too, is our classic land. Here are our glo- 
rious memories of history. Here the shadows of the 
sainted, gifted, heroic dead still linger and still walk. 


Here are Plymouth Rock and Bunker Hill and the 
shades of Vernon. The nation's soul comes here on 
constant pilgrimage. From the solemn and gorgeous 
savannas that stretch beyond the 'outgoings of evening,' 
and from the margin of seas that lave spicy Cathay, it 
ever wanders back to the 

Waves of the bay where the Mayflower lay, 

and the ocean that murmurs the requiem of heroes, and 
purpled of old under the battles of liberty to a richer 
stain than seas that flame with occidental pearl and gold." 

At the session of May 11, Mr. Post was elected one of 
the vice-presidents of the convention, and on the evening 
of that day there was a symposium of the clergy and 
delegates at the Mansion House, at which toasts were 
responded to by Dr. Lyman Beecher, Professor Park, 
Dr. Dwight, Dr. Tappan, Mr. Buddington, Henry Ward 
Beecher, Professor Stowe, and Dr. Bacon. 

Among other toasts was the following : "The Far West. 
The furthest outpost of freedom, order, union, and truth on 
the banks of the Mississippi, linked by golden bands to 
our metropolitan heart and granite history." 

In responding to this toast, says a newspaper clipping 
which is here given, Mr. Post, " was willing to be consid- 
ered an 'out-Post' as he stood in St. Louis, and was him- 
self both pastor and association and general association in 
his own person. He compared the condition of the 
Church in the west ten years ago, with its flourishing 
condition now, and concluded his remarks by some very 
eloquent allusions to the unity and harmony of the Con- 
gregational body in America." 

About the same time was a collation of the Congrega- 
tional Library Association in Faneuil Hall, at which Mr. 
Post replied to this toast: "The new settlements of the 


west. Congregationalism is doing for them in the nine- 
teenth century what it did for the new settlements in the 
east in the seventeenth." 

In responding, he said : — 

"... We at the west are trying to be true to our 
motherland — to propagate those principles which have 
produced such blessed results. Order and liberty are one 
and, like Milton's angel, 'vital in every part.' Throughout 
the far west, we are of you. Countless heartstrings con- 
verge to this spot. The harp of national life is here, 
and you sweep that harp. We glory in your glory. If 
the glory of Massachusetts shall ever go down with 
shame, thousands of hearts at the west will burn with 
indignation. Sweep that harp not to soft and mercenary 
tones, but to old Congregational music, to the magnifi- 
cence of that Psalmist's lyre, of the stormy sea that rolls 
over the Puritan shores ; and if these principles fail to be 
sustained in the west, then let the old anthem of Congre- 
gationalism gather back to the Puritan clime, and to the 
rock where she sung her birthsong." 



Mr. Post and the cause of education. — Addresses at Illinois College. — 
Gasconade disaster. 

NO inconsiderable part of Mr. Post's life was given in 
one way and another to the cause of education, not 
merely during the years in Middlebury and Castleton and 
Jacksonville, but afterwards and in connection with various 
other institutions. 

In the spring of 1848 he was chosen one of the trustees 
of Monticello Seminary, at Godfrey, 111., and in 1849 was 
elected president of the board, which office he held until 
his death. During this period of nearly forty years he 
presided at trustees' meetings and commencement exer- 
cises, and in visits and counsels and correspondence gave 
much of his time and thought to the affairs of the institu- 
tion. He was peculiarly attached to Monticello. He felt 
the charm of its quiet shades, the cheery young life of 
its pupils, and the genial and cultured society of its 
teachers ; and teachers and scholars were alike drawn to 
him and welcomed his coming. As the years of his con- 
nection with the seminary multiplied, the name of Dr. 
Post was not merely identified with its living interests, but 
became a part of its historical past, and was held in grow- 
ing veneration as class after class in its long roll of 
alumnae received their diplomas from his hands. At the 
annual commencement after his death, tributes from the 
graduating class and a poem written by one of the 
teachers were read in honor of his memory ; and now in 
the stately edifice of stone built on the ashes of that 


which knew the living face of Dr. Post, the new library 
room holds his portrait and bears his name. 

He was long and actively connected with the Chicago 
Theological Seminary, and was a charter member of 
its board of directors from the time of its incorpora- 
tion in 1855 till the close of his life. In 1856 he was 
appointed professor of ecclesiastical history, and for 
years lectured before the seminary on that subject. At 
different times a strong pressure was brought to bear upon 
him to remove to Chicago, and connect himself with the 
institution as a regular and permanent teacher. But 
although the field of exalted moral influence and higher 
learning and literature thus presented, attracted him, and 
the question of removal was more than once seriously 
agitated, other considerations prevailed and kept him in 
St. Louis. Of his connection with the seminary, Pro- 
fessor Fiske writes : " He gave us without stint his 
wisdom and care during all the years from 1854 to his 
decease in 1886. His presence here was a benediction to 
all, both faculty and students." Aside from his general 
interest in the institution, he found special attraction and 
inspiration in the lecture field allotted, and was strongly 
drawn by his warm personal relations with some of the 
officers. In the whole circle of friends east and west, 
none were nearer than E. W. Blatchford, president of 
the board of trustees, and Colonel Hammond, one of its 
early directors ; and up to a short time before his death 
it was his wont to make at least one visit, often a number 
of visits, each year, to the seminary and to his Chicago 
" home " on La Salle Avenue. 

Dr. Post was for years president of the Missouri Blind 
Asylum, and was at times in the lecture department of 
Washington University in St. Louis and that of Andover 
Theological Seminary. 


In these colleges and seminaries scattered widely 
through the country and through his long life, from the 
days of the country district school and the tutorship, 
students felt the benefit of his learning and profound 
thought ; and more than that, and that which was 
considered by himself as the noblest education by the 
teacher, they felt the personal impress of his mind and 
character in the daily contact of the class and lecture 
room. The impress so left by him on different institu- 
tions which were themselves radiating centers of edu- 
cation was among the most potent and far-reaching, as it 
was among the most silent, forces of his life. 

For his college "boys" in Jacksonville Dr. Post had 
a personal attachment and interest that followed them 
through life. Among those especially loved were the 
firstfruits of his labors as a teacher far back in the 
"thirties," and conspicuously Richard Yates, who was 
one of the first class that graduated. In 1854, May 15, 
speaking before the Western Collegiate and Theological 
Education Society, at Tremont Temple, in Boston, Mr. 
Post recited some of his early experiences in connection 
with Illinois College. As appears from a newspaper 
account, he said that " being in Washington lately and 
looking into that capitol, over which a late act had cast its 
dark shadow, he was pleased to see there the first one 
that he taught his Latin lessons ; and he spoke and voted 
against the Nebraska Bill." "Upon this announcement," 
says the reporter, " there was a burst of applause, con- 
trary to the custom of the place, and the first instance 
of the kind.' 

The seventh of October, 1854, was a great fete day in 
Jacksonville. A few months before, the old college dor- 
mitory had burned down, and on that day its phoenix 


bejran to arise from the ashes. In a communication 
published in The Democratic Statesman, a correspondent 
says : — 

" Saturday last witnessed the ceremonies connected 
with the laying of the corner stone of Illinois College. 
The great event of the occasion was the address of Pro- 
fessor Post. Many years since, in a far distant state, I 
listened to him with the interest and admiration of youth. 
I then thought his sermons and poetry unrivaled ; and 
when I learned in after years that a college oration, 
which had attracted more admiration than any other, had 
been stolen from him verbatim, it renewed my desire to 
listen again to his 'winged words.' .The enthusiasm of 
youth, alas ! does not return ; but I see enough to justify 
it and the admiration of those who declare this the finest 
address to which they have ever listened. A sketch 
would do no justice to it. . . . In this most happily con- 
ceived and felicitously wrought picture of the past, he 
excited to the full the mirthfulness of his audience or 
their admiration at the change already wrought on their 
hopes for the future, and their sympathies and tears by 
the pathos of his allusions to the loved and the lost." 

In July of the following year, 1855, occurred the 
twenty-fifth anniversary of Illinois College, and at the 
supper closing the festivities at the Mansion House, in 
Jacksonville, in the evening, "Professor Post" answered 
this toast : — 

"The first faculty. Some have retired, but their mem- 
ory and their works abide to bless the institution for which 
they have toiled and endured." 

The response was made up largely of word portraits of 
his old friends, who had been officers and students and 
early friends of the college. 

"Of another circle, too," said the speaker, "the sister- 


hood clustering around this band of brothers, no unimpor- 
tant nor ineffective part of the first faculty in days of 
early trial, my theme reminds me ; some of them far 
distant now, some gladdening this scene with their pres- 
ence; others — their mortal forms dear to memory — repose 
in yonder sleeping place of the dead. Fain would I 
picture the beautiful intercourse of our domestic circles 
in those days, — one family almost, in heart, in interest, 
in joy, and in suffering, — an Arcadian dream, destined to 
fade away before the advancing stages of more artificial 
society. As a common gift, a gladness to us all, I well 
remember the little girl whose blonde tresses and laughing 
eyes and winsome face and pattering feet seemed like a 
consecration of our college halls new risen in the wilds. 
But the face of the little maiden faded like a star into 
heaven. Nor did she go alone ; other little forms went 
from our circle after her. And memory oft recalls how 
with 'sorrowing step and slow' we followed members of 
that little band of sisterhood to our sequestered college 
burying ground on the prairie, and how our tears glittered 
in the soft, silent, lone light of the setting sun, toward 
which our fallen ones went to their rest, far from the 
homes of childhood. . . . 

" Amid many things suggested by this hour, my breth- 
ren of the first faculty will remember, as in that morning 
time we looked forth, how many lights, meteor or starry, 
glittered through the 'horizontal misty air' of the dawn. 
We could then hardly tell fireflies from constellations. 
But the false, the spurious, the earthly and illusive have 
long since fallen. The genuine still live. Yea, as the 
broad vault of the firmament has turned, we know they 
are of the heavens. They have been lifted by them and 
shine in them. Such is the institution we commemorate 
this day. A quarter- of a century has passed. It has not 


fallen to the earth. It has been lifted with the heavens, 
rolling toward the noon. Higher and clearer on it shines. 
May it so shine on forever! " 

At the Middlebury College commencement, August, 
1855, the Alma Mater conferred on Mr. Post the degree 
ol Doctor Divinitatis, and the familiar title of "Doctor" 
Post properly originated at this time. 

Thursday, November 1, 1855, — like the days which 
record the La Clede Saloon catastrophe and the death of 
Rev. Mr. Gassaway, — marks a mysterious and seemingly 
providential deliverance from sudden and awful death. 

About four o'clock in the afternoon of that day, which 
celebrated the opening of the Pacific Railroad to Jefferson 
City, seven cars of an excursion train, freighted with a 
company comprising many of the most widely known and 
highly esteemed citizens of St. Louis, plunged through 
the temporary wooden bridge which spanned the Gascon- 
ade River, down to the ground at the edge of the stream 
forty feet below. In this disaster not less than forty 
passengers were killed. Other railroad horrors have fur- 
nished a larger death roll, but it is doubtful if any list 
ever embraced a larger number of prominent representa- 
tive men from various callings in one community. Among 
the killed were Rev. Dr. Bullard, pastor of the First 
Presbyterian Church; Rev. Dr. Teasdale; Thomas O'Sul- 
livan, chief engineer of the railroad; A. D. Pomeroy ; 
Mann Butler (already referred to) ; Church Blackburn, a 
conspicuous figure at the St. Louis bar ; and Benjamin B. 
Dayton, partner of Henry S. Geyer. 

The experience of Dr. Post in connection with this 
accident is told in a letter written by Mrs. Post, and one 
of his own. 


" About half-past twelve at night," writes the former, 
"the doorbell rang, and I opened the window instantly, 
and heard your father's cheerful voice say, ' Frances ! ' 
' Yes,' said I ; and ran downstairs to let him in, but he 
refused to let me get a light for him, telling me to go 
back to bed, or I should get cold. 

" After some time he came up stairs, and as I knew he 
was expecting to attend a funeral the next morning, I 
asked no questions, thinking he needed sleep, and if I 
said nothing he would soon get it. At daylight he said 
to me : ' My dear wife, it is of the mercy of God that I 
am now in the land of the living.' He then told me of 
the terrible disaster and of his wonderful deliverance. 
Mr. Ross, who was killed, had been sitting by him all the 
morning, and just before the accident proposed to your 
father to change seats with him, that he might have a 
better opportunity to see the scenery. Had your father 
not moved, he would undoubtedly have been among the 

The tragedy is described by Dr. Post in a communi- 
cation published in The New York Independent: — 

" I write under circumstances tending peculiarly to 
impress me with the feeling that services rendered to im- 
perishable interests alone can long bestow either pleasure 
or honor. I seem to myself as writing this on the verge 
of the dark river where all aims this side of immortality 
shrivel. The sense of sudden and awful peril presses on 
me — a peril which has in a moment swept acquaintances 
and friends from my side into eternity. The shadow of 
the Dark Angel has fallen on me. I have heard the whir 
of his awful wing and felt his chill breath. With pulse 
feverous, and person gashed and bruised, and a great 
sorrow on my heart, I write ; and yet as I look around on 
the faces of my home, and on this glad light of life, I 
thank my God, oh, how fervently, that I still live ! 


" As you may infer from the above, I was day before 
yesterday in the frightful catastrophe on the Pacific Rail- 
road at the Gasconade River. Invitations had been 
extended to our citizens by those of Jefferson City to 
meet with them on November I and celebrate the open- 
ing of the Pacific Railway to that place, to which the cars 
were to run that clay for the first time. 

" Between six and eight hundred persons, comprising to 
a great extent the elite of our city, started from this place 
on the morning appointed, with mutual gratulations on 
the opening of such an important section of the Pacific 
Railroad, whose name indicates that, in the idea of its 
builders, it was to be only the beginning of that mighty 
transcontinental route which has for years been the dream 
and aspiration of our city. With words and thoughts 
more or less grave, but all jubilant, and through a region 
in sympathy of jubilation, we passed about one hundred 
miles to the Gasconade River, which this railroad crosses. 
As we approached the river, I was sitting in the car, the 
fourth, I think, from the engine ; all around me men most 
eminent in professional and mercantile life and in the 
political history of the region, variously engaged in gay or 
serious converse — trade, stocks, politics, morals, reminis- 
cences amusing or sad, hopes and schemes for the future, 
the jest and pleasant laugh, or reflections, grave, philo- 
sophic or religious, engaging us, as we looked around on 
each other's faces in an intense consciousness of life and 
a sense of perfect security, when lo ! in a moment that 
multitude, in horrid imbroglio, were struggling in the jaws 
of Death. 

"As we were thus in the fullness of life and enjoyment 
borne on, all at once there comes on the ear an awful 
crash ! Instantly the car pitches forward ! We feel the 
grasp of the Ruin-Demon tearing it with horrid clangor 


downward. One flash of thought. Here it is, the last 
moment! Eternity! Sweet home, wife, children — fading! 
The universe gone ! God only left ! If thy will it be, O 
God, I go ! I go to thee. One such flash of thought like 
lightning through the mind, and with it a sense of falling 
and of things tumbling with us and around us and upon 
us ; and then the stunning, hideous c-r-a-s-h ! with blows 
innumerable, all over our persons, as we strike the earth ! 
and the crash, crash, crash, till seven or eight cars, with 
their living freight, have taken the dreadful leap over and 
upon each other, crushing through that mass of ruin and 
of living flesh. It was all the work of a moment, and yet 
it seemed as if it would never end. I was so buried up 
and stunned that the sound came to me less distinctly 
through the superincumbent mass ; others compared it to 
successive thunder claps. Oh, the relief when it stopped, 
and I felt I was yet alive ! for the pressure on me was so 
great, I felt a little more and I must die, and was mo- 
mently expecting the plunge of another car upon us. 
The consciousness of a long time was gathered into that 
moment. Indeed I can hardly tell how long I lay there 
crushed in darkness. I felt alone with God ; that he was 
there and it was well. The prayer of Jonah flashed upon 
my mind : ' Out of the bosom of hell I cry unto thee, 
O God ! The depth has closed around me. The grave 
with its bars is about me forever. Yet I am not cast out 
of Thy sight. I will look once more to Thy holy temple.' 
And He did bring my life up again from corruption. 
Blessed be His Holy Name ! 

" God's hand warded from us the dreaded stroke. The 
hideous clangor was over, and it was for a moment still as 
the grave. I found myself under a mass of I knew not 
what, crushed, prisoned, helpless, and almost stifled. I 
heard a voice near me cry out, ' Thank God, we are yet 


alive ! ' but there was no response save groans. Instantly 
it flashed upon me, We are in the river and I must drown ; 
and momently I expected to feel the cold death-touch of 
the waters. But it came not. Then came a moving in 
the mass above me, mingled with the cries of the muti- 
lated and the dying. I waited in awful anxiety until, by 
the lightening of the pressure, I could gradually stir my 
limbs. With difficulty I extricated my person and rose to 
my feet. I had suffered a severe contusion on one limb, 
which nearly disabled me ; my head was cut and bruised, 
my forehead gashed and seared with hot iron, — for the 
stove had fallen against me, — and my face was begrimed 
with blood and ashes ; but, oh, the glad thought that I 
was yet alive, and with no dangerous wound ! As I looked 
around I found the wreck of a car in which I was, nearly 
empty of men. Behind me lay a man with bloody face, 
who called out to me by name as to one rising from the 
dead. Beyond was a poor youth with both legs broken, 
crying out for God's sake to help him ; and below me, 
toward the forward end of the car, was one still buried in 
the ruin and imploring to be extricated. I removed the 
rubbish as I could, and lifted him up. Beside him was 
one who had been killed instantly, and was already purple 
almost to blackness. All others I thought had gone or 
been removed. I got up to the rear end of the car, which 
was poised somewhat in the air, and looked forth. Famil- 
iar voices called to me as one from the grave. With the 
help of kind friends I descended, and we greeted each 
other as only those can do who are conscious of a common 
escape from an awful death. But what a scene there was 
around us ! It was one frightful to remember. The 
bridge — a temporary trestlework not designed as a perma- 
nent structure — over the Gasconade River had broken. 
The first span of it, fortunately not extending to the 



water's edge, had given way under the pressure of the 
engine and train. Had it been the next span, that over 
the water itself, the loss of life must have been fearfully 
increased. The engine had reached the first pier, some 
forty yards or more from the abutment, when it fell with 
the foremost cars, dragging those in the rear after them, 
till seven or eight cars had crashed one after another into 
the chasm between thirty and forty feet deep ; while 
others farther back had tumbled sidewise down the 

" As I looked on the terrible and Titanic ruin, there 
lay the huge engine on its back, still pouring forth its 
fierce vapor; engineer and superintendent crushed dead, 
or screaming in living agonies underneath it. The cars 
lay 'crisscross,' scattered about, and partly on each other, 
splintered and crushed, like the forest trees in the path 
of the tornado. The cries of those prisoned and muti- 
lated beneath made the scene hideous. Amid the wreck 
men were running about — some mad with consternation 
and anxiety, some looking for friends, some aiding the 
wounded. Some seemed paralyzed and astounded, as if 
stunned with the greatness and suddenness of the catas- 
trophe, and others appeared nerved by it to heroism and 
energy of effort. Fortunately our company was of men, 
and we were spared the horror of the shrieks of women 
and children usually accompanying railroad disasters. 
The wounded for the most part bore their sufferings in 
silence, or with suppressed groans. Some I found sitting 
on logs or beside stumps ; some lying on the ground in 
the storm ; for, to add to the horrors of the hour, a 
thunderstorm, one of the most violent ever known in 
this region, broke upon us just as the catastrophe took 
place. The air had become dark as night ; the wind was 
roaring what might seem the pocan of ruin through the 


desolate hills — the rain falling in torrents, and the light- 
nings playing like a park of artillery on the gloomy forest 
around us, striking the wreck itself, and nearly stunning 
some that were extricating the wounded and the dead. 
It seemed as if God were angry with us ; and hearing the 
awful blasphemies that broke from the lips of some just 
snatched from the grave's mouth, I could not help shud- 
dering lest the bolts of offended heaven should at once 
smite the impious ingrates into eternal silence. With 
most, however, a better feeling — one of grateful awe — 
obtained, and a sense of a present God, that, I trust, 
may long remain. 

" After a while the relief train came and brought 
away the wounded, who were more than enough to fill 
it, leaving most of those unhurt, and especially our 
military companies, — who rendered very effective serv- 
ice on the occasion, — to assist in extricating the dead, 
or perchance those still alive and buried under the wreck. 
Sadly, and in fear and pain, through the darkness and 
storm, we returned to our stricken city ; finding it, though 
at dead of night, tempested with dread and anxiety, and 
multitudes waiting at the depot, many of them for friends 
they never more should behold. And with what tears of 
grateful joy we greeted the loved ones of our homes 
once again, while our hearts were bleeding for those to 
whom father and brother should return no more!" 

On November 12 Dr. Post preached a discourse com- 
memorative of Dr. Bullard at the church edifice on 
Fourteenth Street just completed, but whose pulpit the 
latter was destined never to occupy. 



Call to South Brooklyn. — The new chapel. — Articles on " Immortality." — 
"The Skeptical Era." — Address at Iowa College on "Religion and 
Education." — Letter to sons at Yale. — Address at Norwich, Conn., 
and various incidents. 

DECEMBER 2 of this year marks a step forward in 
the history of the First Congregational Church. 
On that day it took possession of the new chapel just 
finished, at the corner of Tenth and Locust streets. 

For some time the difficulty which for many years 
afterward proved the bete noire of the church had been 
manifesting itself. It was the growing disadvantage of 
location, then on Sixth Street. In 1854 the surround- 
ings were already very undesirable and daily becoming 
worse. The members were leaving the neighborhood 
and their places were not supplied. The evening con- 
gregations especially were falling away and the church 
receipts were constantly shrinking. 

It may have been providential that in this year, 1854, 
a call came inviting Dr. Post to a Congregational church 
in South Brooklyn, a young and active parish, worshiping 
in a costly edifice and in a very attractive part of the city. 
A home in Brooklyn would be near the sea and very desir- 
able, particularly at that time, as affording ready access 
to the best means of education and culture to be found 
in the country. 

This call and the prospect of losing their pastor proved 
an additional stimulus to action in the home church, 
and the result was the purchase of a lot on Tenth and 


Locust streets and building of a new chapel. On this 
topic we quote here from the Historical Discourse deliv- 
ered March 4, i860 : — 

" I was advised, by a true friend of myself and our 
enterprise, of the general discouragement and indiffer- 
ency, and counseled to listen to invitations calling me 
to other fields. And, though with much pain at aban- 
doning an undertaking which had seemed to open so 
auspiciously and so fittingly to the wants of the place 
and time, still I was compelled to feel that Providence 
was closing the door upon me in this city; that I had 
done what I could, and it was my duty to submit our well- 
purposed and prudently considered but baffled attempt to 
the disposal of Him at whose call, I believed, I had been 
led to engage in it. Sadly I had determined to withdraw 
from a city and a cause very dear to me, and for which I 
had declined attractive calls elsewhere ; and was in corre- 
spondence in regard to a field in an eastern city to which 
I had been invited, when — and not without prayer I feel 
assured — again that Providence, whose Book of Remem- 
brance had been over us all the while, interposed in his 
own cause. 

" God had moved on the minds of the brethren to make 
one effort more. One day, I well remember, after the 
bitterness of the struggle of surrender was over with me 
and my thoughts were directed determinately to other 
and distant fields, a deputation from the members of the 
church called on me with the statement that, if I would 
remain with them, they had determined to build a chapel 
on Locust Street, between Tenth and Eleventh. This 
measure I felt might save our church enterprise, and I 
believe it did save it. I regarded it also as an indication 
of Providence arresting my personal arrangements in 


During the fall of this year and on until the spring of 
1856, Mr. Post was at work at spare intervals preparing 
two articles on "The Immortality of the Soul" ; the first 
of which, "The Argument from Nature," was published in 
the February number, and the second, " The Argument 
from Scripture," in the May number, of The New 
Englander for 1856. 

The first paper is accompanied by an editorial note 
stating that it was "prepared by an eminent writer at 
the request of the conductors of The New Englander, 
on the proposal of a gentleman in New York, who offered 
a generous compensation for it and who intends to repub- 
lish it with a reply to be written in defense of the notion 
that the wicked will be annihilated." 

In a letter written March 31, 1856, Mrs. Post writes: 
" I have been so busy that it is now two weeks since I 
have been able to write you a line. Day after day, from 
'early morn till dewy eve,' I have written and written 
till my eyes are nearly worn out. But congratulate me, 
my dear son, for the article is now fairly done." 

The first article, reasoning in the light of nature alone, 
like that written for The Biblical Repository in 1844, 
finds no assurance of immortality save as the gift of God, 
and it does find argument potent and convincing, drawn 
from the moral attributes of God, for immortality as a 
boon to the good. But the main question concerns the 
problem of perpetual continuance of life or blank anni- 
hilation hereafter to the incorrigibly wicked. And the 
argument is that there is nothing in the justice or wis- 
dom or love of God which forbids the hypothesis of their 
endless existence ; that such theory is in consonance with 
the natural religion of mankind, and that the question, 
viewed from the standpoint of nature is certainly an 
open one. 


In "The Argument from Scripture," the ruling texts are 
marshaled and compared, and their meaning, with the 
import and construction of special terms and phrases, 
such as " life," "eternal life," "perdition," "death" and 
"destruction," and "everlasting punishment," are ana- 
lyzed and tested by sacred usage and examination of the 
original texts; and the writer maintains that by deliberate, 
formal declarations, as well as by implication, in numerous 
passages, the Scriptures teach the immortal existence of 
the wicked. 

The picture presented in the article is something more 
than a perspective "down the awful avenues of endless 
night and sorrow." It is also that of "a glorious One 
wrestling for man, not with the king of mortal terrors, 
but that mighty horror of which he is but the shadow, 
and quelling him — the Second Death. We see Him 
unbinding for humanity the chains of darkness, . . . 
opening the dungeon house for the prisoners of eternal 
sin and woe and lifting them up to His glorious throne. 
That throne — the rainbow of peace and love is around it 

In the same year Charles Scribner, of New York, 
published a volume from the pen of Dr. Post, entitled 
"The Skeptical Era in Modern History," a work of nearly 
three hundred pages, and among all the publications of 
Dr. Post the only one reaching the dimensions of a volume. 
This work was an argument to show that the infidelity of 
the 1 8th century in Europe, particularly in France, Italy 
and Spain, had its origin in spiritual despotism. 

In March, 1856, was an old-fashioned surprise party, at 
which the people of the congregation captured the pas- 
tor's dining room and left on their departure a profusion 
of thoughtful gifts in the way of family supplies and dry- 


goods, and also more solid tokens in the way of silver- 
ware and $635 in gold. Mrs. Post, after a graphic 
account of the occasion, writes : " These kindnesses of 
our dear friends draw them very near to us. I pray that 
we may be the means of doing them a great deal of good. 
I have certainly never heard of a parish so kind and 
attentive to a minister." 

In the spring of this year there is " more than ordinary 
religious interest." " Each Sabbath, as it passes," writes 
Mr. Post, " is to me a day of intense interest and excite- 
ment that rolls its surges far into the night. Last night 
I did not get to sleep till long after midnight." 

July 20, 1856, Mr. Post delivered, at the commencement 
anniversary of Iowa College, an oration on the topic of 
"Religion and Education," which was afterward published, 
at the request of the trustees, and from which it is said 
that extracts, committed to memory by the students, were 
heard on the platform in college declamations. In the 
course of this address Mr. Post said : — 

" Related in natural associations as Light and Life, 
joined in mutual helpfulness as Truth and Love, — twin 
angels of culture, — they are shown also in history as 
bound together by a community of destiny. One speedily 
perishes with the extinction of the other. Both alike are 
essential ministry to our spiritual vision. If education 
may be compared to the optic glass through which truth 
is fuller and farther revealed, religion may be likened to 
the sun, in whose light the true universe is discerned, 
and which is, at the same time, the most glorious of all 
objects disclosed by its beams. 

" If, in arguing this inter-relation, I may seem to be 
arguing a truism, be it remembered there is nothing in 
our world more needs rearguing. Resurrection and 



revitalization arc often more needful than new creation 
in the realm of Truth. 'Who has traduced Hercules?' 
asked an ancient prince, solicited to listen to the eulogy 
of a bard on the hero of twelve labors. But Hercules 
is often forgotten, if not traduced. Great truths too 
often consummate their lives like the silkworm — wrap 
themselves in their silken robes to torpor and death. Or 
like the Egyptian demigods, they obtain apotheosis only 
to be prisoned in the marble of the sarcophagus, or lie 
smothered under mausoleum and pyramid. 

" Nothing is more needed in our times than an Old 
Mortality, that shall enter into the graveyard of conse- 
crated truths, and cleanse off the dust and mold from 
the inscriptions of elder piety. . . . 

" You cannot keep the human mind during the period 
of youth in a simple, expectant, uncommitted position — 
a mere empty fane awaiting its Deity. In the progress 
of culture, its aroused moral instincts and reason will 
assuredly feel after a God. Nature within and without 
will speak to it. The tempest, the thunder, the ocean, 
the mountain, the morn, the noontide, the stormy night, 
as well as its own consciousness, will, at times, utter to it 
of the awful proscribed secret. Out of life's trial and 
vicissitude, its change of light and gloom, of joy, beauty, 
sorrow, and death-shade, a religion, in some sort, will be 
likely to look forth on the mind from which we would 
veil it. Indeed falsehood and superstition will be sure 
to speak to the soul, if Christian education will not. 
Belials and Molochs will be sure to seize on the vacant 
throne of Jehovah. Twilight faiths, phantom-peopled, 
demon-peopled, will be sure to steal in. The mind will 
become as the cavern through which is refracted the 
twilight of early dawn, rousing, not dispersing, all its 
reptile and venomous tenantry. Waked to dim conscious- 


ness of its nature and prerogatives, it will hiss and bristle 
with malignant instincts of rights, without consciousness 
of duties. It is just this dim, twilight Christianity, rous- 
ing the sense of rights without that of duties, that is 
now bewildering and maddening the nations. It is this 
religion of rights alone, and those dimly revealed, that as 
a lunar faith, with half-disk dimly lit, sheds over Europe 
its bloody illusions, and makes true liberty impracticable. 
Such dim, mischievous misbeliefs will be likely to spring 
from the demanded postponement of religious culture. . . . 

" As all truth is one, — and in this unity the mightiest 
and the crowning, unitive element is religion, — an edu- 
cation ignoring religion must present truth in a measure 
distorted, fragmentary, imperfect, and torn out of place. 
Other truths, apart from it, cannot be presented in true 
relation, proportion and aspect any more than the 
material universe, should you eliminate from it gravita- 
tion or light. Literary and scientific truths have a reli- 
gious reach and connection requisite to their perfect 

"To give a true education, with an entire divorce 
between science and religion, were as impossible as it 
were mischievous ! As well teach light with the colors 
of the spectrum considered in separation and succes- 

The speaker dwelt upon the special importance of 
blending religion with popular education in republics, 
and peculiarly so in the United States at that time, and, 
among all departments of education, he urged the para- 
mount importance of such blending of the two in the 

" It is not a quarter of a century since I traveled along 
the Missouri, the Mississippi, the Illinois, and the Fox to 
then lone Michigan, with the blazed tree, the trails of the 


savage, and the sun and stars or the resin wood and the 
mosses for a guide over green solitudes, now thronged 
and resonant with the exode and settlement of nations. 
Their dim tread was then in the eastern distance ; now, 
stormlike, it sweeps west to the Pacific seas. Then, 
amid verdant and flowery immensities, presenting from 
St. Louis to Chicago a magnificent panorama of prairie, 
belted with wood-fringed streams, and embossed with 
groves broidered and perfumed with the haw, the red- 
bud, the wild apple, and the wild rose, we seemed as if 
wandering through Paradise after the expulsion. Its 
profound and boundless silence and solitude awed and 
oppressed us, insomuch that, as in The Rime of the 
Ancient Mariner, we almost felt 

We were the first 
That ever burst into that silent sea. 

" We were then traversing the intermediate space 
vacant by repulsion between two races — the zone of 
silence and solitude cast by the shadow of our empire in 
its westward march. Between us and the Pacific seas 
were only these awful spaces and the virgin mold for 
new worlds. Michigan and Arkansas then were territo- 
ries. Wisconsin still slept along the stream destined 
to give her a title. Iowa was unnamed. Kansas and 
Nebraska had not risen to the horizon. No muse of 
history pointed thither with sad and bloody fingers, or 
brandished her avenging scourge over wrongs about to 
be perpetrated there, the foulest, meanest, and most 
portentous in American story. The Erostratus of that 
infamy was not yet emergent from the innocent obscurity 
of the common-school room. California and Oregon were 
lands of myth and mystery — farther removed from us 
than Japan now. Opposite here, bordering on an illimit- 


able wilderness, the realm of savagism, solitude, and Lynch 
law, a military outpost preindicated the site of your beau- 
tiful city. The war-path of the Indian was along the Fox 
and the Rock rivers ; the tread of the receding buffalo 
was still along the Iowa and the mouth of the Platte and 
the Kansas. The Falls of St. Anthony poured forth their 
roar in the dim and far northwest, as mysterious as the 
fountains of the Nile. And far under the northern sky 
the Superior rolled its wave, lone, lordly, in the scenery 
of solitude and winter, as from the original creation. 

" Not one fourth of a century has yet passed, and a 
Titanic brood of empires has sprung from the wilds, 
almost as the children of ancient Gaia from the earth. 
Nations with agriculture, trade, mechanics, railroads and 
millions of people, are here. States, too, have started 
from the Pacific, and are striking hands with us across 
the great American steppe. The great Northern sea 
reflects in its bosom the village and the church spire; 
and its pictured rocks and Apostle's Islands are resonant 
with the steam-whistle and the gay troops of travel. 

" Looking over the past quarter of a century, I feel 
that, measured by events, it has traversed the progress of 
ages ; such has been its march of history and of empire. 
Moreover this growth is as peculiar in character as in 
vastness and rapidity ; and that character especially 
requires the incorporation of religion. Energy, enter- 
prise, decision, daring, power — the common product of 
our institutions — are peculiarly borne on upon the for- 
ward wave of western migration. Vast power is being 
developed for good or evil. But to be used for goodness, 
safety, and permanent glory, it needs to be attempered, 
serened, and guided by Christian faith ; else its strength 
will be like that of the tempest or the ocean — a terror 
and a ruin. . . . 


" Permit me, in closing, to express my joy to recognize 
in this institution, to which this anniversary week has 
passed so auspiciously, what I believe to be a permanent 
light and life-fountain in the vast social genesis going 
forward in these lands ; and to congratulate you on the 
achievement, this day, of the object of many prayers, 
labors and sacrifices, in the dedication of your new, 
tasteful and commodious college edifice to the cause of 
Christian and liberal learning; a fane consecrated to no 
Tyrian or Hellenic sun-god, such as was wont to attest 
the march of Grecian and Punic civilization westward, 
but to Him who is the true Light and the Life eternal, 
and wearing as its ensign the motto emblazoned over the 
first collegiate enterprise in America, 'Deo ct Ecclesia! 

" May the waters of life that have gushed forth here 
under the renewed smiting of the Pilgrim staff break 
forth as widely and livingly as from the primal Atlantic 
Rock, and may they flow on while yonder Mississippi 
rolls its tide to the ocean ! May memories gathering 
around these seats of learning, and growing awful and 
holy with time, conserve and transmit, in marble and on 
the canvas and the storied page, names as beneficently 
creative as those which hallow the shades of Harvard or 
Yale ; and may coming men have like occasion, in the 
consciousness of blessings received, to catch them up 
and repeat them to their children. May this educational 
institution grow from age to age, till it becomes — I was 
going to say — a pedestal, lifting their forms into Time's 
gaze ; but I would rather say, — and more in accordance, 
I know, with their own prayer, — till it becomes a grateful 
altar, presenting them as the firstfruits of the land to 
God. As the ladder seen by the sleeping patriarch, may 
it seem their life's stepping to that higher sphere, where 
alone the greatness and beneficence of their work here 



begun shall be duly estimated, and where, to their eternal 
honor, it shall be chronicled in God's Book ; while on 
earth, as it rolls toward its better ages, their memories 
shall ever grow green and blossom from the dust." 

In the fall of 1857 the two oldest sons are at Yale 
College, to be gone for two years — the first long break 
in the home life. The subjoined letter was written from 
St. Louis, September 12 : 

" Although it is Saturday afternoon, and I am very 
busy in making preparation for the Sabbath, yet, as no 
one else that I know of is writing you from your home, I 
have transferred my pen from the sermon to this sheet. 

" We followed you in thought, during the long, long day 
of your departure, with many a prayer and many a tear. 
I saw you, as I looked from my study window, in the 
summer house and amid the peach trees ; I seemed to 
hear your voices from each vacant apartment. 

" And when the evening falls, we miss the music of our 
dear boys in the magic of twilight and moonlight. The 
trees murmur to me of you in the stilly night ; and the 
winds, as they moan along the window casement, sigh to 
me of other days, of faded visions and memories that 
change to hopes again only when the mortal shall put on 

" I start to feel that your infancy, childhood, and youth 
in my home have passed like a dream, varied as all life is, 
painful at times with divers anxieties, yet, as it comes up 
in retrospect, so sadly sweet ! From the still waters of 
the fountain of life's river, and the quiet bay kissed of the 
glowing morn, and out on the stream, the torrent, the 
rapids, and on, on to the stormy main, I see you embarked 
to return no more. The hope of permanent reunion must 
look now to the house of our Father. 


" How dear you have been to me, how prized your 
presence, and what a wealth of sweet affections gathers 
around your memories in this home, you will never 

As the sons were not to return west, they were joined 
by the father during the following summer vacation, and, 
with a nephew of the famous John Brown as guide, the 
party made a tour of the Adirondacks, climbing Mount 
Marcy, and camping and tramping through the North 
Elba and the Indian Pass. 

The trip was not the first or the last through this 
mountain wilderness. Years before, with the oldest 
daughter and Orwell kinfolk, he had visited Lake Placid 
and ascended Whiteface, and afterward more than once 
there were camping parties and tours through the region 
of Mud Pond and Clear Lake and Dix Peak, and the 
upper and lower Ausables. 

Of the year following, June 5 deserves passing mention 
here, as it brings this memoir into connection with a 
rdemorable tragedy and the death of a greatly esteemed 
citizen of St. Louis. It was on the night of that day 
that Dr. Post was summoned to the deathbed of Joseph 
Charless, after he had been shot down by Thornton. 

The next month Dr. Post was in Norwich, Conn., at a 
historical celebration of that place, and delivered an 
address, devoted mainly to Congregationalism in the 
west, and the importance and proper methods of its 
diffusion ; not by a system of crusades and aggression, 
but by the interpenetration in its own body of a more 
distinctive self-consciousness, and a better understanding 
and manly assertion of its own system. 



Christmas Discourses in 1859 on "The Greatness and Power of Faith as 
Illustrated by the Pilgrim Fathers," and on " The Vitality of Christianity." 

SUNDAY, December 25, 1859, in the chapel at Tenth 
and Locust streets, Dr. Post delivered two occasional 
discourses, both of which were afterward published by 
special request, the first commemorating the previous 
Forefathers' Day, and the second suggested by the day 
itself (Christmas). 

The morning sermon was from the following texts : — 

"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into 
a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, 
obeyed ; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." — 
Hebrews 11:8. 

"After these things the word of the Lord came unto 
Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram : I am thy 
shield, and thy exceeding great reward." — Genesis 15: i. 

" These all died in faith, not having received the prom- 
ises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded 
of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they 
were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." — Hebrews 
11 : 13, 39, 40. 

The general theme was " The Greatness and Power of 
Faith in the World's History as Illustrated by the Pilgrim 

..." What saw they as they gazed forth on the 
great, wide sea, that seemed to them as washing the shores 
of another planet ? Have you ever looked out on the ocean 



rolling on under night ? going ' forth, dread, fathomless, 
alone,' with its voice dim, drear, vast, and eternal as the 
breathing of the under world ? What must have been its 
outlook to our fathers, as before them stretched its illimit- 
able and stormy waste, with no margin of cities beyond, 
dashing desolate against the western sky, like the dark 
flood that divides our world of life from death ? What 
saw they there beckoning them onward ? Dreams of 
political philosophy ? visions of these United States of 
America ? or simply God's hand, glimpsing forth in 
immediate personal duty ? 

" By faith they became dwellers in the New World. 
What saw they as they looked on its sad, rock-bound 
coast and its forests stretching away under the wintry 
sky in infinite and mysterious gloom ? The architecture 
of republics ? or a present God, the skirt of whose glory 
was even over that desolate land and main ? . . . 

" In faith they 'took the wings of the morning and fled 
to the uttermost parts of the sea,' knowing that there His 
hand would still uphold them. In faith they kept their 
first Sabbath in the New World, in a lonely isle, with 
garments stiffened with the frozen spray, beneath sleeted 
pines that harped with the tempest and the wintry ocean ; 
and so inaugurated they the ordinance of sacred rest for 
their children to all generations. 

" By faith they dwelt alone, far off amid the wilds. 
There the ' dayspring ' still 'knowing its place' was the 
brightness of His coming. It was He that made 'the 
outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.' 'His 
paths dropped fatness ' in the wilderness, and ' the utter- 
most parts of the earth were afraid at His tokens.' There 
the Pilgrim lived and walked with God, enduring from no 
dream of earthly fame or power, no vision of states and 
empires, worshiping no genius of liberty or abstractions 


of philosophy; but 'as seeing him who is invisible.' As 
a fallen, wandering soul, conscious of guilt and peril, he 
sought God as a refuge and a dwelling-place, content, if 
need be, in finding him, to lose all the world beside. 

" It was in such direct vision of God — not in com- 
munings with political philosophies — that gentle and 
cultivated women bore the lifelong heartache of the 
exile ; and when they ' could have had opportunity to 
return,' preferred banishment with God, to the sweetness 
of their early homes. It was in this vision that the weak 
grew strong beyond nature, and childhood became wiser 
than its years, with wisdom looking beyond the tomb. 
So it was with the Pilgrim through all the trials of his 
earthly lot ; and so when came the final hour. Dying 
alone, far away from the great world, looking out on ' the 
deep no plummet soundeth,' what chart shall guide him 
over that mysterious main ? No mundane constellations 
light thee now, O Pilgrim ! No earthly sunsets lure thy 
wandering sail ! No mortal pilot serves thee here ! 
Time's Speedwells and Mayflowers fail thee. This is 
no earthly tempest ; this, no Atlantic surge ; before thee 
the gloom of no mortal shore ; the shades of no mortal 
wilderness. What, O voyager, shall avail thee now ? 
Visions of coming earthly time, or of a present God? of 
the American republic, or the shining city ? 

"That little child, in that lone cabin, who, wan with 
the hunger and fever of that first sad winter, — while the 
strong are bowing themselves under their burden, — is 
wrestling alone with death, and who through those eyes, 
lustrous with the strange light of famine, seems gifted 
beyond nature to look into the spiritual world — what is 
it that descends as the glory of an angel on that soul in 
this awful hour? Is it the muse of history or the Spirit 
of God? 


" And that fair wife and mother, with fever and con- 
sumption attending her desolate couch, and the Dark 
Angel's shadow over her, now that memories of the past 
and distant are pulling at her heartstrings, memories of 
the loved and beautiful beyond the great flood, of the 
soft hands and gentle voices that should have soothed 
her now, and with these mingling the ineffable longings 
for the little son and daughter she is leaving alone in the 
wilderness — what imparts to her in this convulsion of 
nature an awe and beauty of repose beyond all earthly 
heroism ? A vision of no ages, however glorious and 
beautiful, between her and the great white throne, but 
directly of Him that sitteth thereon. 

" Such was the greatness and power of faith in the 
world's history, presented in the case of the Pilgrim 
fathers ; such the beauty and the mightiness of a life 
that truly walked with God. It went out in the wilder- 
ness and seemed lost. It was lost, however, as a star 
is lost in heaven. Indeed, a life of faith is never lost. 
Other ages shall gather around the graves of these men ; 
and the muse of history shall bear their story as a power 
and a glory down the future. This American Common- 
wealth shall be their monument. They must live with it ; 
yea, they will live, should it perish. For in building it, 
they were building another structure, for loftier ends and 
mightier duration. To the honor of faith, and simple and 
direct loyalty to duty, this shall be written for remem- 
brance to the world's end ; yea, for their record in the 
eternal kingdom of the pious: 'These are the men who 
vindicated liberty for the nations and for the human soul, 
while aiming simply to obey the divine word, "Thou shalt 
worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve ;" 
who in loyal endeavor to maintain fealty to God, and to 
save their own souls, saved the great forces of civilization ; 


who, aiming to please God, have come into the eulogy of 
the human race, and, aiming to found a pure church, 
have founded the mightiest empire beneath the sun ; 
who accomplished the greatest of historic works while 
never thinking of history ; who, unconsciously and unam- 
bitiously following simple duty, found it the key of the 
most glorious of earth's destinies and fames, and were 
honored to be, beyond all men, saviors of the present 
world, while aiming supremely to save that which is to 

" Some five years since, I visited the landing place of 
the forefathers and spent a summer's day amid their 
tombs. On a height overlooking the bay and the sea, 
and the place of the first rude hamlets where they lived 
and died, the forefathers sleep, awaiting the resurrection. 
Their burial place is fittingly rural, simple, humble, almost 
rude, away from the city's din and the great world's walks. 
No ambitious or gorgeous monument mars the simplicity 
of the scene or offends the severe genius of the spot. 

" Before me the sun was shining brightly on the distant 
sea and on the islands and 

the bay, 
Where the Mayflower lay, 

and the world-famed rock, where democracy, civil and 
religious, first stepped on the shores of the New World. 
Hills, sterile and somber, in keeping with the historic 
spirit of the place, keep ward around it. Nature has left 
few of her lighter or more graceful touches on the picture. 
All, even in the summer light, seems grave, solemn, and 

"Still the 'birds that sang so sweetly' to the ear of the 
Pilgrim, ' in the March woods,' are there ; and their music 
that gushes soothingly from the mossgrown stones and 


from the thorn bush and the flowering shrubs that grow 
scantily around, comes on the bright still air like a 
requiem over the dead. And around and beneath were 
sleeping the dead ; the holy and heroic dead, whose life 
and death had hallowed that scene to all time. Here was 
Carver, their first governor, who had sunk in that fatal 
winter and whom they had with weary hand and heart 
laid in his lowly rest in the wilderness. There was the 
tomb of Bradford, who had followed him in office. Yon- 
der they may have laid — I say, may have, for time's 
effacing fingers have erased most of the inscriptions — 
yonder they may have laid that wife who had perished on 
the sea, but whose body had been borne on her husband's 
bosom through the foaming surf to the shore. Here, it 
may be, men gifted and of high culture, who had been 
carried forth through the winter night and storm from 
the log hospital to their hidden and hurried graves in the 
wild, may be mingling their mold with that of the per- 
ished forest. There, methought, sleeps the maiden whose 
bloom wasted with consumption from that terrible Decem- 
ber, but who had found her rude low cabin the home of 
the loving angels and God's beatific spirit. There child- 
hood, which seemed strangely gifted to commune with 
eternal mysteries and with strange serenity to joy in 
the hour of its departure, waits the call that shall softly 
break the slumber of the little ones. 

" Here womanhood, that faded under the low thatch 
and solemn pines through which the New Jerusalem 
glimpsed on her dying eye, was sleeping with her baby 
on her breast. Yonder they may have laid the wise 
Winslow or saintly Brewster. That may be the brave 
Standish's last bivouac, and here the fair flower of the 
wilderness, his sweet Rose, may have hidden the bloom 
of her mortal beauty in the tomb. 


" These, and more, may be imagined ; imagined, for to 
the stranger's eye, at least, the graves cannot be identified ; 
for the sentinel stones have grown weary and worn with 
their charge, and have forgotten the story which affection 
fondly wished to perpetuate of a faithful life and trium- 
phant death. But it matters little that the moldering 
rock has forgot its record ; for their record is on high 
kept with God, above the obliteration which shall blot 
the stars. And it shall be kept on earth. This American 
empire shall be their memorial — their living witness or 
their mausoleum ; and a new and happier order of the 
future inaugurated by them shall conserve their story, 
incorporate with its immortal youth. 

" Nor matters it that the cursory visitor or antiquarian 
curiosity may no longer be able to identify the places of 
their mortal rest, whether here or amidst yonder hills, 
under that whispering oak and pine, or along the sound- 
ing sea, or in yonder dells, where they hid their graves 
lest the malignant eye of the savage might note the 
diminishing of their number. It may be better thus. So 
the whole land shall be their monument, and the more 
their spirits may walk it unconfined ; while none the less 
the angel of the resurrection shall guard their mortal 
type to the transfiguration of the last great morning. 

" On earth, meanwhile, it matters little that more and 
more what is individual may pass and what is personal 
fade into the ' unsubstantial pageant ' of the past. Indi- 
vidual history grows to general truths ; personality is 
transfigured to principle and translated, like Astraea, to 
the stars. 

"As the stranger looks down on the scene, on the 
harbor of the anchorage and the shores of the first land- 
ing, at the touch of the muse of history the bright skies 
and waters of June, change to the sad days of December ; 


the gloom and storm of winter are on the desolate and 
icebound coast ; and from the Mayflower in the dis- 
tance, the shallop, with its living precious freight, — first- 
fruit of a new era, — struggles through the chill spray 
to the shore ; but as all this to the stranger is passing 
before the mind's eye, lo ! the scene is no longer the 
same ; the personages change ; the Winthrops and Car- 
vers, the Brewsters and Winslow, are not there. Awful 
angels of history appear; principles, the architects of 
happier ages and cherubim of the car of Providence, seem 
entering from the baptism of storm and sea and winter 
into the opening theater of the Occident — the demiurges 
of a new world. 

" So, brethren, from the receding history of our fathers, 
from the fading of life and personality in the retiring 
picture, step forth, more and more conspicuous and sig- 
nificant, immortal truths and vast and solemn lessons it 
were well our troubled times could hear, teaching us that 
faith in God is the true architect of greatness for men 
and nations ; for this world as well as for the world to 
come. This is the star in the east that brings to a 
Saviour ; that amid difficulties and dangers and bewil- 
derments and storms shines true forever, over the pilgrim- 
age of individuals and empires. Duty, and duty alone, 
is great, safe, mighty. Man is strong as he holds God's 
hand, lofty as he bows before Him, wise as he listens only 
to His voice ; true liberty is His service ; true order His 
law ; true life His love. 

"Our fathers, seeking Him only as their 'exceeding 
great reward,' found greatness, riches, and empire ; reach- 
ing after simple, direct, personal duty, they touched the 
springs of general history for ages. Around God grew 
life, order, and liberty for the individual, for society and 
the state. Honoring Him they were honored of Him to 


plant the seedplot for a continent, and to belt it from 
sea to sea with institutions and civilizations quickened 
with their heartbeat. 

" So it has been, so it must ever be. Following His 
hand a highway shall be opened for us through no matter 
what deserts and what deeps. Listening to His voice, and 
His only, the ages are our own. But disloyal to duty we 
perish. Enthroning expediency in place of God we shall 
see life, order, and liberty decay." 

On the evening of the same day (Christmas, 1859) Dr. 
Post preached a sermon on "The Vitality of Christianity," 
from Psalm 72 : 1 5 : " And he shall live ! " 

" This clause, selected from a triumphant prediction of 
the Messiah and often read as a mere expletive or orna- 
mental adjunct, is one of substantive, distinctive, vast sig- 
nificance. It prefigures the essential vitality, the immortal 
' livingness ' of Christianity. . . . 

"The life of Christianity is the life of its Founder. 
And in a sense most true and wonderful this clause 
applies to Jesus Christ as to no other of the sons of 
men. . . . 

" In his ethics Christ lives ; but as no other moral 
teacher. His ethics, are recognized by the consciousness 
of universal humanity as pure reason and perfect equity ; 
the eternal thought of God incorporate with our moral 
constitution, and so coessential with our moral being 
itself. Of self-declarative and sovereign authority, if 
read on a stray leaf picked up in the street, valid if 
repealed by all the counter-edicts of all ages and worlds, 
they must live with the immortality of reason and con- 
science themselves. 

"Nor does their authority, like that of other ethical 
systems, rest upon mere human sanctions ; it is shrined 


within the sanctuary of religious awe; living with the life 
and sovereignty of God himself. 

"Never since he spake on the mountains of Galilee 
has Christ so lived in his ethical teachings as at this 
hour. His moral utterances are becoming more and more 
the law of the world, the recognized fountain of justice^ 
and the authoritative standard of right between men and 

" In the form of public opinion they are becoming 
representative of the collective reason and conscience of 
mankind, and as such sit throned and sceptered over 
armies, diplomacies, protocols, cabinets, and parliaments. 
Nations may dash against them, but their raging falls as 
far beneath them as the Atlantic below the sky. 

" Them even infidels — men or nations denying Jesus 
Christ the Son of God — still accept. Passion, lust, and 
pride have gnashed on them through ages, but what one 
of his precepts have they expunged, dimmed, or abraded ? 
As well attempt to tear a star from heaven ! 

" Contemplate them steadfastly, and they deepen to the 
infinite like a firmament. But before the gaze of ages 
they start only higher towards God's throne — not one 
has fallen. 

" Still, and more than ever, they hokl back the sword of 
war, the torch of massacre, the scourge of the oppressor. 
They arrest the despot in the midst of his fortresses and 
the conqueror at the head of the armies ; they bind up or 
roll on revolution ; they unfetter the millions, upheave 
thrones, and arm nations against tyrannies, or they medi- 
ate between wrathful empires and enforce on them truly 
' the truce of God.' 

" Christ's ethics are served of philosophies ; and yet 
they live independent of the philosophies that serve 
them ; and will live if those philosophies should change 


or die. The Newtonian theory or the analysis of La- 
place may perish, but the eternal heavens will still 
roll on. 

" Christ lives in the religion he has founded as no other 
man lives. 

" In the first place, . . . Christian ethics give vitality 
to Christian faith by both attracting belief towards Chris- 
tianity and by vitalizing the societies in which Christian- 
ity inheres.' . . . 

" In the second place, Jesus Christ lives perpetually 
in his religion because that religion, like his ethics, is 
counterpart to our moral consciousness. As the former 
corresponds to the commands, so does the latter to the 
facts, of our moral being. It meets our felt wants — our 
conscious moral condition and necessity. . . . 

" Thirdly. Christ lives in his religion because of its 
wonderful provision for the perpetual new birth of indi- 
vidual souls, and consequently of nations. 

"Civilization is thus eternally renovated by revivals, 
individual or social ; by new impulses or illapses of 
the original life; by restorations or innovations and 
reforms. Other nations — pagan or Mohammedan — fall 
to decay, have no second youth of faith, civilization, or 
empire. Like the parasital vine, poisoning and smother- 
ing the oak it clings to, their religion itself sinks with 
the civilization it destroys. But Christianity starts to 
new life in each newborn soul, and injects that new- 
ness into social and civil life. Fresh as from the first 
baptism of Jordan, she steps forth from each new revival 
glistering with the dew of her youth ; and she lives with 
the immortality of the civilization she thus perpetually 

"Again: Jesus Christ lives as does the founder of no 
other faith, because his alone is the religion of true 


science ; not that it aims to teach science, but that it 
harmonizes with it as it is progressively discovered, just 
as its history finds its counterpart in the Egyptian 
or Assyrian sculptures, as they are gradually disen- 
tombed. . . . 

" Like the starry heavens above us, it is true and shall 
be true forever, though with varying aspect and depth 
of truth, alike to the savage or civilized ; to the rude 
peasant or slave, or to Bacon creating new intellectual 
systems ; to the child that can say ' Our Father,' or to a 
Newton sounding the astral abysses, or a Milton, passing 
'the flaming bounds of space and time.' 

" False science has been the fatal plague of false reli- 
gions. Brahmanism must perish before a true astronomy 
or genuine system of physics. Mohammedanism cannot 
survive the acceptance of a true political or social 
philosophy. But the facts and principles of Christianity 
are like mountain peaks which, in the nocturnal land- 
scape, seem hills almost touching the eye, but with the 
morning start up afar off and leagues into heaven ; or 
like constellations which, through the city vapors, seem 
part of the street lights, but as you emerge from its 
smokes spring up to the firmament. They are ever veri- 
table and real, though they rise to loftier heights as the 
world's vision clears. 

" In like manner, Christ shall live in his religion, 
because that religion, genuinely apprehended, is an 
emancipator and excitant of mind and thus makes 
civilizations which embrace it quick and powerful. Other 
faiths, by false science and intellectual repression, enslave 
and enfeeble nations. Thus peoples which have em- 
braced, however imperfectly, the religion of Jesus Christ, 
in art, culture, opulence, and power are this hour amid 
the other races as gods. Moreover, among nations nom- 


inally Christian, those, as a general law, are mightiest 
with whom Christianity is mightiest ; and she again, 
though she can live amid diverse organizations of church, 
state, and society, is yet strongest with the freest and 
most enlightened. . . . 

" Again : Jesus lives, and shall live as no other of the 
sons of men, through his church — an organization whose 
life principle most solemnly consecrates it amid the social 
economy to a function of unselfish beneficence and per- 
petual reform. . . . 

"Organized on the principle of supreme love to God, 
and supreme devotion to human salvation — its life 
individualized and quickened and made powerful by 
its relations of liberty, equality, and fraternity among its 
members ; a reciprocity of obligation to God's word 
and work among men — holding all equally responsible 
to truth, and to God, with no earthly power above the 
brotherhood, or mediating between it and God — an 
organization better fitted to individualize intelligence 
and activity, and to emancipate, purify and vitalize 
universal society, cannot be imagined. It seems planted 
in commonwealths as a fountain of perpetual youth. 

"Again : Jesus Christ lives as none other in the history 
of time, through the power of his personal character. The 
instincts for the moral beautiful must perish in the human 
soul before it can let that character go forth from its love 
and honor. Its instincts of truth must be destroyed 
before it can believe that character false or the religion 
which enshrines it a fraud. That personage is the Atlas 
of the system, bearing it up immortally. Rightfully his 
name is called ' Wonderful,' the separate, the isolated, the 
unique. There is no fellow to it among the sons of men. 
Others have been great, but time has drawn them within 
its shadow. But that character grows ever upon the mind 


of the world with age and culture, towering up ever higher 
across the valley of ages. 

" Others fade or tarnish with years. But when shall 
that character gather dimness or stain ? It grows brighter 
by the attrition of ages and clearer with their progressive 
illumination. Eighteen hundred years have not attached 
to it a fleck or shadow. Serene, self-poised, complete, 
Godlike — what fellow has it in the histor) of men? 
Other fames fade or show hollow and counterfeit with 
time. But when shall that face be the face of fiction or 
imposture ? And if not an impostor, then is he the Son 
of God. . . . 

"As an object of personal endearment and admiration, 
Christ lives and shall live as no other of the sons of men. 
As a personal friend and benefactor, exercising universally 
and towards each, as if alone, cognizance, care, and affec- 
tion, — not one overlooked amid millions who love him, — 
he lives with the life throb of a conscious personal love, 
through ages and millions. Many love a Washington, 
Kosciusko, Gustavus, or Howard. But the race of man 
weeps around the cross this hour. Earth has other high 
and monumental places, national and ecumenical ; but one 

" Nor is it with love for the dead alone they gather 
there. No mere dead saint or hero is Jesus Christ. The 
sorrow of death and the joy of life blend together at his 
tomb. It is ' he that liveth and was dead, and is alive 
for evermore, and hath the keys of hell and death.' To 
all the millions of his disciples he is a living presence, 
companion, comforter, brother, saviour. 

" No other being is so profoundly and supremely loved, 
and by so many millions, and with such consciousness 
of living, constant, personal intimacy, as Jesus Christ. 
While other fames and faiths decay, it is not so with his. 


Never was the heartbeat of humanity toward him 
fresher, stronger, more vivid, more conscious, or from 
more millions, than at this moment. Never were more 
ready to suffer or die for him. 

" When Napoleon led his vast army into Russia, and his 
devoted squadrons, charging into the foaming Nieman and 
sinking in the deadly torrent, still with swords waving 
above their heads, poured out their ' Vive V Empereur ! ' 
from lips gurgling with death, Europe heard with admira- 
tion and terror. But this was in sight and hearing of their 

" But for Christ nations and races never having seen or 
heard him are ready to pass through floods and exult 
amid flames, glorying to be counted worthy to suffer for 
him. Millions through all the earth recognize him as a 
present witness, champion, and deliverer. Through life's 
changes, in dark or light, the bridal festival; or the cham- 
ber of sickness and the shadow of death, in all homes and 
all paths, in hut, palace, or prison ; in wilderness or city, 
the mountain wild or the stormy sea ; drawing the curtains 
of evening or lifting the veil of morn ; leaning on human 
bosoms, quelling human cares and terrors, and wiping 
human tears, that loved presence walks the whole earth 
this hour. As the champion of the poor, the vindicator 
of the rights and duties of universal humanity ; as the 
great apostle of brotherhood and liberty, the ennobler 
of labor, the comforter of the wretched, the visitor of 
the sick and imprisoned, the protector of the outcast 
and exile, the orphan, the desolate, the enslaved — as 
all these, Christ is destined to live in the coming demo- 
cratic era of history, more and more, as Lover and Lord 
of the race. 

" Christ is, again, destined to live as the representative 
yuan of the future ; the mightiest of plastic forces, assim- 


ilating the race to itself ; the ' Sun of righteousness,' whose 
shining is to strike his image through the great deep of 
humanity, mirroring itself individually in the million, 
which are drops in that deep. He is to be the ideal to 
which the race of man shall shape itself, and to live repro- 
duced in its coming nations, through the ages as long as 
the sun. 

"Again: Jesus Christ shall live through and in the 
kingdom he has established, recognized of the world in 
his regal majesty, the central personage and imperial 
guardian in a new order. In this kingdom the ethics of 
Christianity are presented as grouped around a living, 
vitalizing Christ. They are not a mere system of abstract 
maxims and precepts, but vital, incorporate, impersonate 
in the Son of God — the robe of his epiphany, worn of 
him as the sun wears his beams. They are no longer 
simply a true philosophy or rules of being, to be vindicated 
at the last judgment ; but the present policy of a most 
real, though invisible monarchy : a policy worked by an 
unseen but ever-present sovereign, and whose expanding 
influence is his triumphal march over the earth. 

" That kingdom was never so much a living power as 
this day. Other founders live with the dynasties and 
constitutions they establish or inaugurate. Thus Solon 
lived with the Athenian constitutions ; thus Peter the 
Muscovite, through the czars, and Frederick the Great 
through all his successors. But with truth, liberty, and 
love — the great principles of Christ's kingdom — he lives 
and reigns. Wherever true justice, freedom, purity, and 
brotherhood live and triumph, there Christ lives and 
triumphs. Wherever the martyr, confessor, or missionary, 
wherever the patriot, philanthropist, or hero, utters or 
enacts his testimony to these principles, there Jesus 
Christ still lives. Wherever men think, reason, feel, 


labor, and pray for these interests, there Christ still lives. 
Wherever men forgive their enemies, or return good for 
ill, ' bless those that curse them, and pray for those that 
despitefully use them,' there Christ lives. Wherever men 
engage in disinterested beneficence ; visit the sick or 
imprisoned ; cherish and comfort the weak and helpless ; 
enlighten the ignorant ; reclaim the vicious ; or where 
they free the enslaved ; build hospitals ; endow asylums ; 
establish schools, — there Christ, though personally unrec- 
ognized of the actors, still lives. In all battles of Princi- 
pie ; in all conflicts of truth and reason, and their victories 
over falsehood and wrong ; in all labors of love, the world 
over, Christ lives. 

" In short, in all the infinite outgoings of light ; all the 
great movements of history towards truth and righteous- 
ness ; in all the advances of society, in freedom, art, 
science, and power, Christ — who is converting all these 
to agencies of his economy — lives and conquers and 

" Finally and especially, as we enter into the circle of 
revealed agencies within the awful forces of the spiritual 
world, we find the life of Christ among the children of 
men, guaranteed by that wondrous all-vitalizing power, 
moving now on the deeps of mind as at first on the ruin- 
ous abyss — God's Spirit. With that Spirit pledged to 
breathe that life into human souls, and to quicken them 
with the thought and love of Christ, till he comes again in 
the clouds of heaven, we feel the future of Christianity is 
placed above accident or natural causes and above human 
caprice or will. He cannot die but with death dominating 
over life through the universe. 

"All these forces have guarded the life of Christianity 
in the past, and brought it safe and triumphant through 
the deadly perils of more than eighteen centuries. Often 


have her enemies thought her to he dead ; but never was 
she more living than at this moment." 

Following the above is an eloquent and characteristic 
picture of the struggle of Christianity in Palestine with 
Jew and Roman, pagan and Pharisee, high priest, Pilate 
and Herod, "who conspired to quench it in a bloody 
-rave,'' and then with "the pride and cunning of heathen 
philosophy, oratory, poesy, and art — with the charm of 
sensuous and intellectual beauty, and all the sorcery of 
falsehood, thinking to confute and awe and sneer and 
shame her out of the world " ; then successively with the 
iron power of imperial Rome, and barbarism and spiritual 
despotism, and the political and social upheavals and insur- 
rection of nations in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, 
and with modern infidelity, and transcendental and ration- 
alistic philosophies, and through all her struggles depicting 
the triumphant progress of Christianity to the end. 

The entire passage is in the writer's most exalted 
vein, and is here omitted simply because of its length and 
because no mere extracts could do it justice. The address 
thus closes : — 

" Nothing we can discern seems destined to destroy 
or arrest her. History and philosophy conspire with 
prophecy in declaring of Jesus Christ, as of none other 
of the sons of men, 'He shall live' — shall live though 
cities, nations and civilizations pass away : shall live 
through ages that may trample over the fallen arches of 
British or Anglo-American empire ; live, even if so be, 
when the New Zealander shall stand amid the ruins of 
London and New York ; live as long as the earth rolls 
and man dwells upon it. Yea, and instructed by a philos- 
ophy of history that extends its inductions from time to 
eternity, and from the life of souls here to their life there, 
and by prophecy unveiling to us the mystery beyond the 


Great White Throne, we know that far past the changes 
of earth and time, when suns fade and stars fall, and 
worlds burn, — in the new earth and new heavens, — with 
the life of humanity bearing the crucified One in its 
bosom evermore, with the life of the divine Spirit 
breathing his thought through the universe and through 
eternity — ' He shall live.' 

" One glorious thought closes on our vision as we 
attempt to pursue it into the infinite future, even as the 
transfigured cloud on the pathway of the setting sun. If 
Christ shall live, we shall live also. He shall live in us 
and we in him, forever. He is to man, as here, so ever- 
more, 'THE LIFE.'" 



Dedication of the new church at Tenth and Locust streets. — Its standing 
and influence. — The civil war. — The loyal pulpit as a factor in 
molding public opinion in St. Louis in 1S60-61. — Public services of 
Dr. Post in this crisis. — Patriotism of the First Congregational Church. — 
Camp Jackson. — Sermon of Dr. Post on Fast Day in November, 1861. 

THE year i860 was very memorable in the annals of 
the First Congregational Church, for reasons which 
will presently appear. 

In the spring of that year it erected its principal 
edifice on Tenth and Locust streets, and this event marks 
an important epoch in its history. With the removal to 
the new chapel the church had gained largely in member- 
ship and attendance, so much so that this building soon 
proved wholly insufficient for the audiences in the morning 
service; and in the spring of 1857, in a discourse "by 
one [Rev. Charles Peabody] whose manly services will be 
long and gratefully remembered by the people, the appeal 
was raised, ' Let us arise and build. This place is too 
strait for us. Our sittings are all rented. We cannot 
increase for want of room. Our cause cries, Onward ! 
Providence imposes the necessity. Let us obey.' " 1 

Thereupon — and in great measure under the stimulus 
of this sermon — a subscription was set on foot, and suffi- 
cient funds to authorize the undertaking having been 
obtained, the corner stone of the new and main building 
was laid in March, 1858, and the structure was completed 
in the following year. 

1 Historical Discourse of March, i860, by Dr. Post. 









, o 












On March 4, i860, the church was dedicated. In the 
morning the dedicatory services, including the historical 
discourse by the pastor (above referred to), were held ; in 
the afternoon the first communion was celebrated, and 
in the evening a discourse was preached by President 
Sturtevant, of Illinois College, on " The Ministry of the 

The church at this time was in a high tide of pros- 
perity. The house of worship was in a part of the city 
then most desirable, and its accommodations were ample 
and attractive. It was built after the Grecian school 
of architecture, without spire or tower, and before its 
entrance were massive stone columns. Exclusive of 
the organ and price of the ground, it had cost over 
$53,000. The membership, embracing only two hundred 
and thirty -five names, was not numerically strong as 
gauged by some of the leading churches of to-day ; but 
its power in the community meant far more than its church 
roll. The congregation identified with it was large and 
rapidly growing. Its pews were greatly in demand — at 
the first sale forty of them were sold for an aggregate 
sum of $35,000. It stood for Congregationalism, as its 
sole, and historically as its signal, representative in St. 
Louis. It was made up largely of men in the prime of 
life, actively engaged in various business pursuits, in pros- 
perous circumstances and of growing fortunes ; quite a 
number of its members were already wealthy and some 
of them stood very high in the ranks of medicine and law 
and education. The First Congregational Church was 
among the strongest in St. Louis, both financially and 
by reason of its commanding influence. But it was near- 
ing a crisis which, for a time, threatened to engulf it, and 
did leave it crippled in mast and sail, though it finally 
outrode the storm. The year i860 was very memorable 


in the history of this church because of the part borne by 
it in the momentous tragedy upon which the country 
was then entering. 

The fall of i860, with its great political struggle and the 
election of President Lincoln, brought about in St. Louis 
a condition of anxiety and suspense hardly paralleled 
anywhere in the country. That city, it must be remem- 
bered, was not, like most others of the land, one which in 
case of war would send munitions and troops to a distant 
seat of hostilities ; nor was it a community which, although 
facing an enemy near at hand, was homogeneous in itself 
and united in political sentiments. In Missouri, and 
especially in St. Louis, there was a wretched tangle of 
irreconcilable theories of government and race preju- 
dices, which set at variance those of the same neighbor- 
hoods, and the same coteries and churches — often those 
of the same households. It is difficult now to realize that 
there could have been at that time such a state of mutual 
menace and fear and secret plotting and bitter personal 
antipathy as then prevailed. The war itself, which in the 
spring following carried the hot bloods off into the armies 
and brought martial law into St. Louis, even with its grim 
realities was a relief from the dreadful uncertainty and 
distrust and social blood-poisoning that had possession of 
the people during the fall and winter of 1860-61. In this 
year 1891, with the war storm long passed, and the prob- 
lems of that period wrought out to their ultimate results, 
it is a simple matter to understand the "logic of events." 
But standing as the citizens of St. Louis stood in 1860-61, 
what man among them was farsighted enough to pene- 
trate the veil ? Above and on every hand was a thick 
murk, from which all were expecting hour by hour to 
see the bolts descend, not knowing where they would 
strike, or what interests, embracing property or personal 


safety or even life itself, might not be in jeopardy. All 
was uncertainty, dreadful as it was vague, and yet it seemed 
palpable enough to any comprehension that the war once 
here would be not only a civil, but also a social and a 
fratricidal, war. And it was apparent from a glance at 
the map that St. Louis would be a prize to be fought for 
by the north and the south, and likely enough would be 
swept over by the armies of both, and thus converted 
into a quarry for mutual plunder and depredation. 

While "the timid good would stand aloof," or merely 
cry for "peace on any terms," it took a bold and manly 
citizen from any calling to come to the front, and, 
with the air full of threatening and defiant disunion- 
ism, and with the nightly tramp of "minute men" heard 
in the armories, to proclaim himself for the government 
at all hazards and at any cost. It was a time peculiarly 
to test the manhood and patriotism of a clergyman in 
such a community ; and more especially a clergyman in 
the immediate social and church environment of Dr. 
Post. His circle of acquaintance outside the church was 
a wide one ; it had been formed before sectional lines were 
drawn and embraced many whose antecedents were from 
south of Mason and Dixon's line, who had welcomed him 
at his first coming to St. Louis. His own congregation 
was by no means a unit on the great issue then before the 
public ; on the question of forcible maintenance of the 
Union it was divided. With a large majority in favor 
of standing by the government, come what might, it 
contained an element, not numerically strong but includ- 
ing wealthy and influential members and prominent 
church officers and old personal friends of Dr. Post, who 
were strongly southern in traditions and associations, anil 
strenuously opposed to any measures on the part of the 
government that savored of coercion, and who were still 


more emphatic in their opposition to any advocacy of 
such measures from the pulpit. It was insisted by 
people of this school that the duties of the clergyman 
pertained solely to spiritual concerns; that he had no 
call to meddle with politics; and that his special and 
paramount obligations were, not to foment dissensions, 
but to preserve "peace and good will" among those of 
the same "household of faith." 

The south was swiftly massing in open rebellion, and 
coercion meant war on a tremendous scale, with no end of 
sacrifice of blood and treasure. Such a war was declared 
to be abhorrent to humanity, and especially to be depre- 
cated by preachers of "the gospel of reconciliation." It 
was notorious that there were many of " the best citi- 
zens " of St. Louis, who, in mass meetings and conventions, 
advocated resolutions opposing secession and favoring sub- 
mission to the laws (and some of them afterwards did 
yeoman service for the government), but who at that time 
refused to support the administration in " a war of sub- 
jugation." Surely, it was argued, the clergy, regardless 
of political bias, and without in the least impeaching 
their loyalty to the government, might assume an attitude 
as moderate as that. At all events, in their capacity as 
pastors over flocks honestly differing within themselves in 
political convictions, they certainly might pursue a policy 
of silence. Such a course in the pulpit, it was contended, 
was perfectly consistent with a patriotism at the polls and 
in the avenues of private life. It was urged and was 
plainly manifest that on the other hand public deliver- 
ances in favor of the nation and its preservation, when it 
could only be preserved by the bayonet, meant church 
dissension and schism, the loss of most valuable members, 
and the probable estrangement of long-tried and beloved 


Such were the arguments — containing a modicum of 
truth and by many sincerely believed in, and most persua- 
sive to a man of conservative views and averse to strife — 
for keeping out of the pulpit any reference to the national 
issues. But a crisis was upon the people of Missouri. It 
was her "Valley of Decision " — the turning point in her 
destiny. The state was a possible key to the situation in 
a political and strategic point of view, and its fate might 
carry with it that of the national controversy. The test 
came home to every citizen and he could not fend it off. 
There was a trumpet call to every man in every rank 
and every position in life, and in every political party, to 
throw what measure of talent and influence he possessed 
into the trembling scale for the cause which he honestly 
thought to be the right. 

Which cause was wrong and which was right, it is 
foreign to the purpose of these chronicles to consider. It 
is certainly true that there were in St. Louis at that day 
many very prominent and influential citizens and those of 
unquestioned political honesty and conscientiousness who 
squarely and boldly opposed the course of the govern- 
ment. Many considered the war upon the south as a 
wanton outrage upon state rights without a shadow of 
justification. Many loyal men counted the enforcement 
of rightful authority, at the fearful cost which would be 
entailed, as too dearly obtained, and so were for peaceable 
separation. There were also many who were educated 
by subsequent events to the stanchest patriotism who 
then sincerely "halted between two opinions." 

But with Dr. Post the case was far different. With 
his convictions — bred into the bone and sinew of his 
moral nature, in the days of Lovejoy and before them — 
on slavery, on the supremacy of the federal government, 
on obedience to constituted authority, there could be in 


that crisis no middle course or divided duty or stinted 
service. There was, as he believed, hartlly anything sacred 
in the past or hopeful in the future that would survive the 
downfall of the Union. After that catastrophe there 
opened to his mind only a long perspective of anarchy 
and disaster, with an end of the experiment of free 
government on the earth. And he did not believe that 
a clergyman could entertain such convictions in private 
and with justice to his own manhood fail to avow them 
in that sphere wherein his power for efficient service was 
most to be felt, on the platform and in the pulpit. 

Consequently when the question presented itself, what 
course to pursue before the public, it was with him 
simply no question. Prudential considerations, questions 
of worldly-wise policy, the balancing of chances, were 
never taken into account. As to fears he had none. 
His conduct was simply characteristic. He was the 
declared friend of the national government from the very 
outset, in the somber autumn of i860 and the winter 
following ; during the period preceding Camp Jackson, 
when the arsenal was threatened, and a coup de main was 
looked for which would turn the city over to the Con- 
federacy, as well as afterward through the varying fortunes 
of the war. He advocated the cause of the government 
by public persuasion and appeal, in the pulpit, in platform 
addresses and through the daily and periodic press, as 
well as through the quiet channels of personal influence. 
He not only pleaded for submission to the federal govern- 
ment, as a matter of loyal duty, but he insisted upon its 
maintenance at all hazards — by force if necessary. 

Such was the position taken by Dr. Post throughout 
the war. And those who differed from him most widely, 
while they condemned his cause and opinions, were 
ready, in common with those of his own political faith, 



to honor his fearless manhood and to recognize the 
potency of such services as those rendered by him to 
the government in St. Louis, during the time of its 
weakness and need. 

Indeed the effect of the course pursued by Dr. Post 
and a few other prominent clergymen who stood together 
in the breach at the beginning of the disunion agitation 
can hardly be overestimated. When the war was actually 
here the issues were relegated to a great extent from the 
field of discussion to the wager of battle. But the fall 
and winter previous to the actual outbreak of hostilities 
chronicled a shock and struggle of political opinions, more 
intense than any in the history of Missouri. The war of 
1 86 1 was emphatically one of ideas. It grew from a soil 
of strong primordial beliefs touching the first principles 
of government. It was the fable realized of dragons' 
teeth then sown and soon to spring up in serried columns 
of war. Theories vitally affecting state and nation came 
forth like Homer's gods and met in battle here in St. 
Louis during the fall and winter of i860 and 1861. In 
this conflict of sentiments, especially among Americans, 
the churches were a mighty, if not indeed a controlling, 
factor. The thinking classes — those who gave tone to 
public opinion — were largely to be found in the various 
city congregations. There they gathered from Sabbath to 
Sabbath, often when public excitement was at fever heat, 
and when the all-absorbing theme of the hour was that of 
the discourse or woven into it ; and thus by sheer aggre- 
gation of numbers, the feelings and sentiments of men 
would become focalized, and under the inspiration of the 
topic and the speaker would flame out into passion and 

The opinions of the clergy, with few exceptions, carried 
very great weight among their followers, and with many 


were held as almost ex cathedra ; and where the pastor 
was a person of recognized standing and of strong person- 
ality and persuasive eloquence, his power in the field of 
public opinion was mighty indeed. It is doubtful if the 
public press or the club or the mass meeting did more 
to fix the wavering, to rally the lukewarm and encourage 
the timid, and generally to mold and strengthen the 
public sentiment, than did the pulpits of St. Louis which 
championed the cause of the country during that fall and 

The steadfast and uncompromising fealty of Dr. Post 
to the Union cause was not rendered without a painful 
sacrifice. It cost him the estrangement, for years, of 
more than one among his earliest and best friends in 
St. Louis ; those, in some instances, with whose house- 
holds his own had been on terms of the closest intimacy 
and from whom he had received abounding and sub- 
stantial evidences of kindness during the whole period 
of his life in St. Louis. Their family ties and ancestry 
were, as already stated, southern ; their young men were 
following the fortunes of the "stars and bars," and in 
spite of strong attachments, as the contest waxed in 
bitterness, and patriotic appeals from the pulpit contin- 
ued, and prayers went up from Sabbath to Sabbath 
for the success of the national arms, the offices held 
in the Congregational church were one after another 
resigned by them, and letters were taken to more con- 
genial fellowships. So to the sorrow shared in common 
with the public in that dark period was added the 
shadow thrown across the warm personal friendships 
of former years. The old relations were not forgotten ; 
mutual respect and esteem were not lost ; and in subse- 
quent times, when the passions gendered by the war had 
subsided, the cordial kindness, if not the intimacies, of 


early days in St. Louis gradually came back. But these 
separations were among the sorest trials in the life of Dr. 
Post ; they were a heavy loss to himself and to the 
church ; a loss which a more temporizing and worldly-wise 
policy might have avoided. 

It must not be inferred from anything here said that 
the advocacy of the cause of the government by Dr. Post 
was also a "gospel of hate." Such was far from the 
fact. He spoke with all the earnestness and intensity 
of his convictions. But the words were uttered in kindly 
warning ; they were addressed to the public conscience, — 
not to sectional or party animosities, — and they were 
coupled with appeals to the better angels of our nature 
— to love of country, to reverence for law, to the spirit 
of fraternity and mutual charity. 

The church on Tenth and Locust streets, notwith- 
standing the defections spoken of, was a tower of 
strength to the Union cause in St. Louis. Its aid to 
that cause was felt in a thousand ways. The provisional 
and military authorities in that city knew that a loyal 
support was at their back in this as in other patriotic 
churches. Officers and soldiers from different states 
stationed in St. Louis, though shunned and tabooed by 
the southern element, found in this church a welcome 
and a home. Those passing through in thousands on 
their way to the front heard the prayers and words of 
hope and courage and rally to duty from its pulpit and 
carried them on the march and to far-off and lonely 

Substantial aid was rendered to the Union cause by the 
Congregational church, directly in contributions of mone) 
and food, and indirectly through assistance given in fairs 
and the work of the Ladies' Loyal League and Union Aid 
Society ; in both of which Mrs. Post was an officer and 


a most active and devoted member. This church gave a 
number of its young men to the service ; and the touch 
of its kindly charities was felt in ministrations to the 
wounded and fever-smitten soldiers in many a hospital 
in this city and on the steamers along the southern 
Mississippi and the Tennessee. 

To cite, in whole or in part, the sermons and other 
deliverances by Dr. Post touching on the national issues 
during the fall of i860 and the four years following, 
in his own church and in the sister churches, in joint 
service and on special occasions of fasting and prayer 
or thanksgiving, would be out of the question. Many of 
them were unreported. Of the many that were pub- 
lished or noticed in print, very few are now obtainable. 
But those sermons and those scenes of excitement and 
exalted feeling — sometimes of mourning and agony — 
and the personnel of those that figured in them will 
always live in public memory. 

Two or three of these discourses hereafter mentioned 
must serve to illustrate the attitude of Dr. Post on public 
affairs during the war and shortly before. 

Thus, at the Congregational Church, after the national 
election, and as the state was drifting haplessly toward 
the breakers of the Twenty-first General Assembly, he 
delivered, on Thanksgiving Day, a discourse entitled "Our 
National Union," which, by request of Francis Whittaker, 
Wyllys King, J. S. McCune, Russell Scarritt and Samuel 
Plant, was afterwards published in pamphlet form. The 
sermon is a call for gratitude for a Union, — God-given for 
so long, — and a warning and prophecy, drawn from the 
sad story of past ages and the inexorable logic of history, 
pointing to the fate awaiting dismembered republics. 

Chronologically in this connection, and by way of epi- 


sode, passing mention should be made of a strange scene 
witnessed from the top of Dr. Post's mansion, on the tenth 
of May, 1 86 1. 

The city was then over the hill and east of Seventeenth 
Street. The region about was open country ; the houses 
were few, and on the morning of that day most of the 
men who lived in them were absent in town. There was 
scarcely a sign of life then stirring in the neighborhood, 
except where, among the tents that necked the grove 
south of Olive Street, the flutter of pennons and the glint 
of sentinel muskets were to be seen, and now and then 
drum taps and bugle calls were to be heard — all of which 
betokened a body of soldiers quartered there in camp. 

But three o'clock in the afternoon of that clay saw a 
very different picture. By that time, though the sky was 
mild enough for a May picnic, the air about " /Eolian 
Castle " was very far from yEolian. From half a dozen 
avenues of approach, and as if by clockwork, were coming 
at a quickstep and almost simultaneously and gathering 
about the cluster of tents, marching columns of dark 
blue-coated " regulars," and " home guards " with their 
various uniforms, and artillerymen with caissons and 
horses and trailing cannon. Close by the house was 
the regiment of Colonel B. Gratz Brown, which, with 
its leaguer of bayonets and gleaming field-pieces, had 
appeared so suddenly that it seemed to have sprung out 
of the earth. 

And who will forget the grotesque and motley convoy 
that came with the advancing columns ? — the melange of 
furniture wagons, drays, carts, buggies, everything that 
had wheels, and men, women, and children, babes in 
arms — people of all sorts and conditions, white and black, 
not less than thirty thousand of them, pouring helter- 
skelter over the common, like the sea across a sandy flat 


at the flow of tide. And who can forget the crazy noises 
of that most crazy multitude ? the skirl of Yankee Doodle 
and the shouts for Dixie, and the nervous pulsations of 
drums, answering one another in defiance here and there 
through the field, and finally blending in a Babel chorus 
till all the air was quivering with the din. 

From the housetop, in the midst of all the chaos of 
voices and swaying masses, like checker-work could be 
distinguished the blue squares of the "regulars," motion- 
less as a rock in the ocean. 

Exactly what is the meaning of the squadrons of mili- 
tary, and this conglomeration of people, and these cheers 
and confused noises, nobody seems to comprehend, except 
that Lyon and Blair are understood to be surrounding 
Frost and his encampment, and that some dreadful 
tragedy is brewing. 

The music and the drum roll continue, and the people 
keep on shouting very much like the mob at Ephesus, 
hardly knowing what the bedlam is about, when in the 
midst of it is heard the ominous splutter of firearms, 
followed by round after round of musketry, silencing 
all other noises. What can this mean ? Can it be a salute 
to our national colors ? If so, why that ragged fusillade, 
and why that sharp whisk of minie balls that come flying 
over and around the homestead, and why the reeling and 
backward surging of the crowd along the line of soldiery, 
and the sudden stillness more significant than the wildest 
clamor ? The watchers on the roof are not left very long 
in doubt as to the general result, for the strains of " Hail 
Columbia " and the columns moving to the eastward with 
the stars and stripes flying and marking their line of 
march and the tidings that come on the wings of the 
wind, proclaim the capture of the camp with seven hun- 
dred of the flower of young St. Louis — officers, men and 



arms and equipments, all surrendered, and being taken 
away to the arsenal. 

The bloody work of the musketry was heard of later. 
That and the grim procession of prisoners, with the files 
of home guards before and behind and the ambulances 
bringing up the rear with the dead and wounded, marching 
down Olive Street through the howling and cursing 
rabble, and the night of terror that followed in St. Louis, 
all are the matters of notorious history ; but Camp Jack- 
son, as here described, is simply the scene as witnessed 
from the housetop on that memorable afternoon of May 
10, 1 86 1. 

In November of that year war was a most grisly 
reality in Missouri. The shock of contending armies 
had been felt at Wilson's Creek and Belmont and 
Lexington. The bloody tragedy of Camp Jackson and 
the shooting frays on Walnut Street and Seventh Street 
in St. Louis were seared into the public recollection. 
Fremont, with his bodyguard had, till shortly before, 
dispensed martial law from Chouteau Avenue ; the city 
was cordoned with his earthworks, and Halleck now 
held sway in his stead. Lyon had fallen and Price was 
still menacing from the southwest. Worse than all, guer- 
rilla fighting and vendetta and assassination — warfare 
in its most lawless and relentless phases, with its concom- 
itants of pillage and devastation and terrorism — were 
holding high carnival in many of the interior portions 
of the state. 

A picture of the commonwealth in the lurid light of 
those times, and the attitude of the loyal churches in 
St. Louis, and the public stand taken and maintained 
by Dr. Post throughout the war, may be gathered from 
extracts taken from a sermon delivered by him, November 
26, 1 861, in response to a proclamation from President 



Lincoln setting apart that clay as one of fasting and 
prayer for the country. 

The address was delivered at the First Presbyterian 
house of worship to the united audiences of that church 
and the Second Presbyterian and Congregational churches. 
The occasion was one of many during the war — some- 
times of thanksgiving, as often perhaps of supplication 
and sorrow — wherein these three sister churches, drawn 
together by the bond of a common national cause, united 
in worship and listened to one of their respective pastors. 

The address was one of considerable length, and the 
portions here inserted are from the report taken in 
shorthand as delivered and published the next clay 
unrevised in the daily press. The discourse was from 
the texts : — 

"Make a chain : for the land is full of bloody crimes, and 
the city is full of violence " (Ezekiel 7 : 23). 

"The powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 

13: i)- 

"Why is it," said the speaker, "that this city now feels 

a sense of repose under the iron curb of martial law? 
Why that feeling of relief in the suspension of our 
common civil rights and franchises, and in the presence 
of a power invested with prerogatives arbitrary for a 
time as those of any despotism in Europe ? It is be- 
cause, from violence and bloody crimes, — the hideous 
brood of insurgent and conspiring anarchy, — it seems 
the only refuge at this time left us. . . . 

" At last we behold with our own eyes, emerging like 
the Typhon of fable from the abyss, the horrid form of 
civil war with all its grisly train, robbery, arson, assas- 
sination, devastation, massacre; the rider of the 'pale 
horse ' and Hell following after him. . . . 

" With party politics, with measures not immediately 


2 75 

and vitally affecting morals and religion, and waging their 
conflicts under and within the Constitution, it may be 
wise the pulpit should rarely intermeddle. But when 
attacks are made directly and avowedly on the existence 
of the Constitution and government, the case is widely 
altered. Whichever party triumphs in the former case, 
its victory is in the name and alleged defence of, not in 
deadly and professed antagonism to, the life of the 
country. But when the very being of government is 
assailed, and, with it, society, and all institutions under 
it are imperiled, silence anywhere and in any class ceases 
to be a duty. Between the country and its destroyers, 
between government and those who seek its life, between 
law and insurrectionary violence, between order and 
bloody anarchy, there is in logic and in honor no 
neutrality for any institution, interest or man, sheltered 
under our political system. 

" Especially when the footsteps of the invader are already 
on our soil and are heard in near approach to this city 
for the avowed purpose of overthrowing the government 
whose protection and blessing we have always enjoyed 
and of coercing and subjugating the state which is our 
home, which has so solemnly and repeatedly uttered, 
through its suffrages and representatives in convention, 
its protest against secession, and when, in enforcement 
of this treason against both the United States and the 
state of Missouri, — this violation by secessionists of 
their own theory of state's rights, — our thoroughfares 
are infested with arson and assassination, our trains of 
travel are ambushed and fired into, and our railroad 
bridges are converted into slaughter pens of unwary 
and peaceful passengers : . . . when the Indian savage 
is invited into the bloody carnival of invasion ; when in 
order to subjugate us our fields are desolated, and families 


guilty only of loyalty arc driven forth from their wasted 
homes, fleeing for life, abused and wounded, into poverty 
and exile, while our brothers and sons and fathers, in 
defense of the government and of our homes and per- 
sons, are standing for us this night on the field of battle, 
or lie mutilated and groaning in our hospitals, or mol- 
dering in red heaps amid the wilds, — while such force is 
used to drag our state protesting and struggling into the 
abyss of this rebellion, then surely silence is no longer 
admissible — any more for the pulpit than the press. . . . 

" The vital question now is not of party men, or names, 
or politics, or antecedents, or of finance, tariff, slavery or 
anti-slavery, but simply of government itself. Shall civil 
order live ? . . . 

"The Titanic insurrection against our national govern- 
ment and life is much the outgrowth of sentiments and 
practice, insurgent against lawful authority . . . looking 
on offenses against civil ordinances and power as offenses 
not at all against God, but against a mere fiction — an 
intangible, ideal impersonation called government, which 
we can make and unmake at our pleasure. . . . 

" This mode of thinking and feeling derived from an 
infidel and material philosophy of the last century has 
pervaded us widely, until we have come to regard civil 
government as a mere creature which we were bound to 
reverence as little as a child its puppets, or the African 
his clay gods, which he installs over himself, but which 
he may buffet and chastise at his caprice. 

"Government, regarded simply as a thing of human 
creation, by agreement, compact, votes, or violence, has 
simply the authority of its original. There is nothing 
divine in it. Crime against it is no sin. Treason has 
nothing immoral. If you have the power to overthrow 
the government, you have the right. Success purges all 



the guilt of insurrection. It bleaches treason to purity 
and heroism. Might defines right : interest duty. 
Authority, resting upon a mere fiction of consent, and 
compact purely imaginary, is resented as tyranny. . . . 

" Government must become to us more than a mere 
human expedient ; authority something beyond interest ; 
right no mere synonym for might. Constitutions and 
institutions, though seemingly born of man, must be seen 
to be, after all, in a true sense, children of God. Powers 
that be must be recognized as ordinances of God ; like 
the Temple, though issuing from human hand, directly 
hallowed by the indwelling God. 

" De Tocqueville has told us that despotisms may be 
infidel, but republics must have a God. Government 
with us must be either despotic or divine. . . . 

"God's sanction and majesty watch around civil 
government ; yet not everything that may be so called. 
Government thus sanctioned has its definition and limi- 
tation both by nature and Scripture. It is a thing of 
definite, distinctive type, a majesty of order, right and 
peace, characterized as ' a terror to evil doers and a 
praise to them that do well' It is limited also by the 
example of the apostles and by natural reason, as subor- 
dinate to God's government. It is presupposed by the 
apostle to be a power for right and order. 

" But with these definitions and within these limita- 
tions the Scriptures consecrate civil government ; and 
it is sacred with God's authority and bears with it the 
divine majesty as much as though its ordinances were 
uttered by the earthquake of Sinai or authenticated by 
the thunders of heaven. . . . 

" And as the authority of God is in every government 
true to its idea, so especially is it in the vital principle 
of that government. If the sovereignty is placed in the 


voice of a constitutional majority uttered in form pre- 
scribed, then is the voice of such majority armed with 
the authority of God's sanction. 

" Vox populi, vox Dei, then becomes a truth, 'and 
whoso resisteth, resisteth the ordinance of God.' He 
that strikes at that, as in the case of the present 
rebellion, strikes at not mere human majorities, but 
at the majesty and authority of God. If it succeeds, 
the vital principle of the government is destroyed ; the 
government and civil order die ; anarchy and an organ- 
ization in which popular liberty can form no feature 
are all that await us. . . . 

•• Before attempting such an awful thing as the over- 
throw of an existing government, one is bound most 
solemnly to inquire, not simply whether there are 
wrongs in it — as in all things human — but, first, whether 
they vitiate it so that it is not on the whole a beneficent 
power ; and, second, whether they cannot be redressed by 
peaceful means ; and, third, if not, whether there are not 
evils as terrible as those endured to be encountered in 
revolution, and whether the interests to be obtained are 
as great as those imperiled by change ; and, fourth, 
whether the government destroyed is likely to be replaced 
by anything better, or whether the government existing is 
not so rooted into the life and being of a people that it can 
not so be torn up without jeopardy to national life itself. 
If the answer to any of these questions is adverse to 
the meditated violence, then the divine majesty guards 
that government as truly as the flaming sword did Eden. 

" But in applying these principles to our federal gov- 
ernment, whether we look at it by itself or in comparison 
with others, in regard to its nature, spirit, form and 
effect, or the method and material and cost of its origin 
and elaboration, or we reflect on the piety and wisdom 


2 79 

engaged in its history, and its aim to combine most per- 
fectly popular liberty with civil order ; of what ages it is 
the growth; to what coming -millions it is the represent- 
ative of the future; what a continent it embraces as its 
theater ; what relation it sustains to the hope of popular 
liberty and to Christian civilization through the world ; 
whether we look at these or at the peace, liberty and 
general prosperity that it has sheltered and now shelters ; 
or at its provision for all desired change, without jeopard- 
izing the continued peace and life of the nation, through 
the free voices of the people of whom it claims obedience 
and who again control, modify and direct it, not only 
by suffrage but by the subtle, omnipresent and constant 
influence of free thought and speech ; when we look at 
the slight wrongs and evils alleged against it, even by 
its enemies, and the awful crimes, woes and ruins in 
that abyss through which revolution must welter before it 
can stop its bloody wheel ; when we look at the good, the 
peace, the wealth and prosperity already destroyed, the 
homes desolate, the fields wasted, the battle carnage, the 
mutilated forms of the hospital ; and further, at the death 
agony of a mighty nation before it will submit to its 
assassins, and then at the grim, iron, merciless despotism 
lying beyond, but into which reason, patriotism, and even 
religion must rush to close up such an open hell, — when 
we look at all these and ask the character of the act that 
is attempting the overthrow of the government of these 
United States, we need no refinement of political ethics 
and dialectics for an answer any more than for a chemical 
analysis to prove that the sun shines or that the lightning 
blazes. . . . 

" Let us plead with God for our country ; for His 
kingdom in this land ; for institutions belonging to that 
kingdom and bequeathed to us from heroic and martyr 


ages ; plead in the name of the wondrous kindness, the 
mighty acts of former years, and the covenants with our 
Father, that He still may be gracious and forgive, according 
to the exceeding greatness of His mercies. Let us plead 
for the whole land, that He may drive away from all parts 
of it the blindness and madness and astonishment that 
now are on millions ; that He may give soberness, reason 
and conscience, and a love of man and a fear of God to all 
sections of it ; . . . that, on the basis of Christian truth 
and righteousness, freedom and fraternity may grow, blend- 
ing with the Christian church, the Christian state, conse- 
crated with the recognized indwelling presence of God, 
and with the awe of divine majesty guarding it around 
as with flaming sword against all insurgent violence 



War papers: "Guerrilla war"; "Price's proclamation "; "What ails us?" 
— Address on Palingenesy. 

IN addition to the public addresses delivered by Dr. 
Post during the war time, there were, as already- 
intimated, contributions by him to the press, not a few, 
most of them over a nom de plume, and not generally 
credited to his pen. Among these articles were two on 
the subject of "Guerrilla War in Missouri," contending 
that such fighting never defended liberty or empire 
against regularly organized war, and that to a population 
having fixed habitations and fixed capital — cities, villages, 
farmhouses, railways, and public and private improve- 
ments — guerrilla war was manifestly ruin. The position 
of the writer was illustrated from the Peninsular War in 
the days of Napoleon, and from the history of brigandage 
in Italy and the Tyrol. A wretched phase of guerrilla war 
was the fact that the secession cause for which it was 
carried on was making its assault on the State of Missouri 
and against the forms and reality of her popular will. 
" It is insurrection against a state government solemnly 
inaugurated by the representatives of the sovereignty of 
the people, and officered by men long known and the most 
widely approved and loved of all parties which we have in 
the state ; men whose assured loyalty to the Union and to 
the solemn trust with which ' they have been invested 
makes the efforts of the insurgents still more hopeless 
and the wickedness of their attempt mere gratuitous mis- 


chief. This condition — making insurrection a desperate, 
double treason against both the state and general govern- 
ment — shuts up its instigators, actors, and abettors to 
the character of mere brigands and bandits, impotent for 
war, but adequate only for robbery, arson, and assassina- 
tion. Before treason will be allowed to succeed in circum- 
stances like these — to wrest Missouri from the United 
States — the land will become an Ireland of the seven- 
teenth century or a La Vendee of the last. Those per- 
sisting in works of treachery and blood that can only 
irritate and embitter a war whose ultimate result they 
cannot affect — where will they end their career except in 
exile or by military execution or on the scaffold ? 

" The general government, with its vast and populous 
military states adjacent, cooperating with our loyal popu- 
lation, has certainly power to vindicate its sovereignty 
here, and will manifestly do it though its flag wave over 
vast regions waste as the original wilderness." 

In the fall of 1861 appeared in one of the St. Louis 
daily newspapers a communication headed " Price's 
Proclamation," and published shortly after the date of 
that remarkable fulmination. About the same time were 
printed in The Evening News, a well-known daily of that 
period, a series of articles on the political situation of 
Missouri. One of them of considerable length, signed 
"Verax," was entitled "What Ails Us?" 

At the commencement anniversary of Middlebury 
College, in 1864, Dr. Post delivered an address somewhat 
kindred in its line of thought to that on " The Vitality 
of Christianity," entitled " Palingenesy ; or, The National 
Regeneration." He subsequently received a note signed 
by W. G. Eliot, George Partridge, Wayman Crow, James 
Richardson, S. C. Davis, Henry Hitchcock, Carlos S. 
Greely, James E. Yeatman, F. B. Chamberlain, S. B. 


Kellogg, J. P. Collier, and S. Waterhouse — men well 
known, some of them very prominent, in the community, 
asking him to repeat the address in St. Louis. " The 
patriotism, wisdom, and eloquence which you have always 
exhibited in the discussion of public questions inspires 
us," said the note, "with the liveliest desire to hear the 
oration. Believing that an expression of your views upon 
the restoration and renovation of the Union would be 
of public service, we cordially invite you to deliver that 
address at the hall of Washington University. The 
encouragements to loyalty which are based upon political 
philosophy, enforced by historic example and pervaded 
by Christian sentiment, cannot fail to be eminently 

In compliance with the above request, an address — not 
the same, for on both occasions it was delivered merely 
from loose notes, but in substance and drift the same — 
was given in St. Louis, November 4, 1864. Afterward 
in a pamphlet, containing the address as delivered in that 
city and taken down in shorthand, the committee of 
invitation say by way of preface : " The satisfaction which 
the rich learning, profound reasoning, and fervid loyalty 
of the speaker afforded the assembly, expressed itself in 
a general and urgent demand for the publication of the 

The St. Louis Democrat, commenting on the lecture, 
in a notice which disclaims "any attempt to reproduce, 
or even to imitate, the wonderful word-painting " of the 
speaker, says : — 

"If every man and woman in the country were imbued 
with the sentiments of that address, our land would soon 
be blest with millennial prosperity. . . . The solemn 
eloquence and pathos of the peroration were deeply 


When this lecture was given, peace had not begun to 
dawn in the east and those darkest hours that precede 
the day were upon the land. The country was in the 
birth throes of its national election, with McClellan as 
candidate of the Democracy on a platform declaring the 
war a failure and recommending a treaty with the 
seceding states. And the Palingenesy, although belong- 
ing, as the lecturer said, "rather to the philosophical 
chamber than to political harangue," was evidently 
suggested by the issues then before the people. 

" Not only our institutions are assailed," said the 
speaker, " but the ideas which created them — ideas 
which, with our fathers, held the place of first truths, 
and were to them the most practical convictions, and 
for which they braved the axe and the fagot, imprison- 
ment and exile and battle, overturned thrones, crossed 
seas, founded empires, achieved revolutions, organized 
society and government — these have become terribly 
shaken by the shock of our present rebellion. Old 
heroic traditions seem perishing. Old and time-honored 
maxims seem passing out of the nation's life. The 
principles, organic and vital, of our social and civil 
order seem well-nigh death-stricken by various causes, 
but especially by the subtle poison diffused through the 
national mind by the institution which has caused this 
war. . . . 

"There are many that contend there is no such thing 
as political regeneration. They point us to Niebuhr's 
picture of Greece, after the Peloponnesian war, and it 
is indeed a melancholy picture. Greece was ' living 
Greece no more ' after that fratricidal strife. The old 
Hellenism had passed away forever like a beautiful and 
heroic dream. He describes it as a land already in 
hopeless decay. The national and ethnic sentiment had 



fled. Its early faith, its heroism, its enthusiasm for 
liberty and country were gone. It was a land without 
hope, without a futnre. There was for it no renovation. 
" So of the old Roman world under the later Caesars. 
I know of no picture of mankind more melancholy — a 
world in hopeless decrepitude ; old ideas upon which 
they had built heroic action dead ; and the mind of 
earlier times gone forever ; heroic passion and virtue 
forgot ; heroic memories faded into myth ; civilization 
in dissolution. The human race itself seems old and 
dying. And. there are those who universalize this fact; 
and they tell us these aspects of decay of Greek and 
Roman civilization represent stages inevitable in all 
national life ; that all nations have their climacteric 
beyond which they can only descend to the grave. They 
point to Assyria, China, India, and Egypt as examples. 
There was no second youth for Persian or Phoenician, the 
Latin or Hellenic races. Babylon had none ; nor had 
Athens, or Magna Grecia, or fair Ionia, or Rome, or 
Jerusalem. Ancient history presents in whole or in part 
no such rejuvenescence. Nor will they admit in modern 
history any certain examples. Indeed, there is a school 
that theorize all history into fate — a mere game of 
inexorable necessity. They find its program written 
in physical geography : on land, flood and sky ; the 
configuration of continents, the courses of rivers, the 
nature of soils, the belts of latitude. Society, they 
claim, is the mere creature, the victim, of nature. 
Nations, societies, civilizations, they assure us, are all 
mortal. The shadows of death are on their cradles. 
Life with them, as with the plant or tree, is limited 
by the ethnic germ. History is a circle ever returning 
upon itself — a birth, growth, climacteric, decline and 
death, in a course, as fixed as that of the seasons. And 


progress, that of which we speak so hopefully, is with 
them but an eddy, ever turbidly whirling ; or an endless 
oscillation between two opposite polarities; a vibration 
between reform and counter-reform. 

" But is this so? Is history but the endless labor of a 
Sisyphus ? a web of Penelope, ever woven, but only to be 
raveled and rewoven ? Is society cased in a mechanism 
of adamantine fate, where genius and heroism, passion 
and achievement, and all that we admire as most 
powerful and free in humanity are only forces to hasten 
the motion along the grooves of an eternal necessity ? 
.And to die — is it with nations, as with men and animals, 
only the debt of nature ? 

" I thank my God I confess to no such gloomy creed. 
Both my logic and faith revolt from it. History is no 
eddy, though embracing many such. It is a Mississippi, 
bearing all eddies, with refluent or affluent whirl, ever 
to the great ocean. It exhibits in itself, it is true, per- 
petual oscillatory movement ; but the oscillation is of 
the pendulum below, that is ever moving the index hand 
above, on the horologue of the ages, ever nearer to the 
morning hour. 

" Its movement, too, presents also periodicity and 
rotation ; but it is the rotation not of the circle, but of 
the cycloid ; or the curve described by a point in the 
periphery of a carriage wheel in onward motion, which 
point ascending or descending never retrogrades, but 
ever in each revolution starts in each ascent in advance 
cf its last descent, and falls in each descent in advance 
of its last ascent. Or perhaps its movements may be 
better likened to the epicycle in the Ptolemaic system 
of astronomy — a device by which they attempted to 
explain the apparent retrograde potion of the superior 
planets, representing their orbits as described on a crys- 


talline sphere that ever moved stars, planets, and epicycles 
together along in its great revolutions. 

" I believe in no necessary mortality of states or 
civilizations ; at least, in the present or future. The 
forces of social progress are immortal, and by properly 
applying them society may itself become immortal. 
These forces are eternal ideas — inextinguishable in- 
stincts of the human soul, blending with, and conse- 
crated by, the imperishable principles of the Christian 
faith. The apparent failures and deaths of civilizations 
in the past are owing to defect, distortion or dispropor- 
tion, of these forces. Society was imperfect in its vital 
or constituent elements, and, like all imperfect things, 
having wrought to the measure of the capacity of these 
elements, was destined to change or death. Ancient civil- 
ization lacked the full idea of humanity in it as well as 
of Christianity. Having wrought to its measure without 
these elements, the fate of decay was necessarily on it. 
The periodic or cyclical movement in history proves not 
the mortality of these vital forces, but rather the reverse; 
it proves their perpetuity and omnipotence. For it is the 
incompleteness, the neglect or the violation of these forces, 
that has slain states and civilizations entombed in the 
past. The power of a life principle is demonstrated as 
much by the death that ensues on its withdrawal or 
violation as by the life that attends on its presence. 
This cycloidal and oscillatory movement, amounting to 
reform or revolution, or to dissolution and new creation, 
must go on till society attains its full complement of 
constituent elements and forces ; that is, until the im- 
perfect has reached the perfect. Indeed the millennium 
itself seems, in the program of Revelation, to be only 
the most brilliant and enduring of the cycles of time, 
but mortal, like its predecessors, and bearing the race 


in its descent to the final revolt and to the foot of the 
throne of doom. But these rotations or revolutionary 
movements, I believe, need not strike so low as the death 
shade, but may simply achieve reform within the circle 
of life. 

" Indeed in one aspect the rapidity and power of these 
vital forces and of the social life are represented by the 
rapidity of these rotations. They mark revolutions of 
the wheel of progress. In the dim and distant past 
the strokes of that wheel are heard only at vast intervals, 
like the leap of Hesiod's horses of the gods : which 
making one bound, awful ages have passed away. So 
of the car of social progress ; the wheel strokes at first 
fall on the ear solemn and slow over the vast and twilight 
profound. But, quickening with time, they grow more 
and more rapid as they approach, till at length they 
become indistinguishable, and sweep by us with the con- 
tinuous rush of the steam-car, hurrying stormlike to its 

" In this respect the rotary movement of modern his- 
tory finds its analogue in the cyclone, or tornado, which 
has a double movement ; one rotary on its own axis, 
the other projected along the great circle of the storm ; 
the rapidity of the one measuring that of the other. 

" We are dealing in this question with no problem 
of speculative philosophy, nor in the spirit of merely 
curious inquiry, but earnestly and anxiously, as we 
would feel the pulses of a dying friend. The hour is 
awful with destiny. A mortal crisis, such as comes only 
once in ages, is upon our country. Shall it live or die ? 
Philosophy, the most profoundly and widely speculative, 
is here intensely practical. 

" What remedy, then, may a search guided by such 
philosophy discover for our national disaster ? What 

WAR PAPERS. ' 289 

revitalization from decay ? What restoration from ruin ? 
In some diseases the malady itself discloses both the 
cause and the cure. So it is with societies. Social con- 
vulsions are a social apocalypse. Revolution is revelation. 
The upheaval and overturn reveal what smoother and 
more tranquil times never disclose — elements and forces 
ever at work in the deeps, but commonly hidden and 

" As the geologist, in his researches into the dynamic 
laws and structure of the earth's mass, takes a position, 
not where the smooth champaign spreads out in level 
lawns and rich gardens, smiling with fruit and flowers, 
but in fields of ruin and the disaster of nature ; where 
the earthquake has torn open the earth's bosom ; and, 
gazing down the rent, he may read her interior constitu- 
tion and forces and may trace the awful subterranean 
powers which build or destroy her structure, vitalize or 
waste her surface, which have left their .finger prints on 
the rent marble or the molten granite on the dingy sides 
of the chasm, or are still stirring the eternal fires below : 
so we may now take position beside the abyss that has 
opened in our American society, and trace powers, laws 
and elements heretofore but dimly disclosed under our 
smooth and beautiful prosperity. A wrong, hoar and 
mighty, has heaved under our foundations. The deeps 
have been torn open and their secrets disclosed. Fright- 
ful and infernal forms — passions and powers undreamed 
of by us, the grisly and goblin troop of Death and Hell — 
are emergent from Erebus ; come back as from ages of 
fabulous corruption and crimes, to affright the fair world 
again. The rent abyss also reveals the enduring demiurgic 
forces of society : the forces creative, organic, conserva- 
tive, and destructive. Brahma, Vishnu and the dreaded 
Siva — all are there, and all are one. These demiurgic 


forces, these world builders and destroyers, are ideas; 
eternal and profoundest constituents of our humanity. 
Normally and legitimately at work, like the impalpable 
forces of nature, they "elaborate order, beauty, and life ; 
but, suppressed and disturbed, they breed the tempest 
and the earthquake. They are the ideas, primordial, 
organic, and vital to our civilization and institutions; 
powers invoked by our fathers at the beginning and by 
them inaugurated over the empire they founded. It is 
these ideas — resisted, stifled, and imprisoned — which 
have upheaved this ruin. 

" And now what shall we do ? Shall we renounce these 
ideas ? Shall we cast away the vital principles of our 
civilization, the architective genius of our institutions ? 
Shall we discard our theory of popular liberty as a 
chimera and a curse ? Surely not ! Our fathers were no 
political dreamers or fanatics. The ideas they invoked 
were eternal truths, essential and immortal instincts of 
humanity, appointed of God to vitalize and guard social 
progress ; powers that utter themselves in the spirit of 
the age ; that bear on our modern civilization ; powers 
that are imperial, omnipotent, the Lords of History. 
They are stronger than empires, longer lived than the 
centuries. They shall shape the order of the millennial 
cycle itself. ... 

"This present rebellion is a war of ideas; started 
because of no actual sufferings, such as make nations 
mad, nor because of alleged actual oppression and mate- 
rial wrongs ; but in the name of resistance to ideas. 
Ideas have sprung up in the form of a million armed 
men, who go forth to battle for no vulgar and material 
interests, such as have moved in the common wars of 
history, but in the name of principles, abstract and 


Ideas concerned in political order were divided by the 
lecturer into two classes : first, those of the rights of 
liberty, or, those rights we are wont to speak of as the 
rights of man ; second, those pertaining to the rights of 
authority, command, and rule in God, and those he may 
depute to rulers, and designated by way of antithesis as 
divine rights or the rights of God. " The two combined 
are the factors of all civil liberty, of all free, permanent 
and beneficent social or political order. They were 
designed of heaven to organize and rule society in joint 
regnancy — mutually complementary, and bracing each 
other to greater strength, like the opposite sides of an 
arch. As in case of the two forces that keep the earth 
in its path through the ecliptic, so their coaction is 
requisite, and in fit proportion and direction to keep 
society in its sphere and course. As in the solar sys- 
tem, either of the two forces failing or distorted, the 
earth would rush into the central flame or the outward 
abysses of night and frost ; so, either of the social forces 
failing or distorted, society rushes upon anarchy or 

In the Orient, "theocracy has prevailed from the morn- 
ing of history — an organization in which the rights of 
God have been usurped by the priest, patriarch, monarch, 
or caste, and then turned as ' devilish enginery ' to crush 
and smother the rights of man." 

In the ancient Occident " the state was God, and before 
its usurpation of the divine prerogative there were no 
human rights sacred or indefeasible. The rights of man 
as man were unknown. The boasted liberties of Greece 
and Rome were only the civil equality of the lordly few 
among themselves and their equal liberty to dominate the 
millions below. But in the presence of the state, the 
mightiest as well as the meanest, eupatrid and patrician, 


a Themistoctes and Epaminondas, the Fabii, the Cornellii, 
the Scipios, and the Bruti, were alike slaves. Indeed the 
idea of humanity with the individual sanctity and sover- 
eignty of prerogatives in each human soul seems to have 
had no place in ancient occidental civilization save in 
connection with Christianity. And Christianity entered 
the world not in time to save it but to seed it for a far 
future. . . . 

" Christianity lived in the heart of the world as it must 
ever live with a life immortal. But as a public power it 
crossed the gulf of ruin chiefly as a superstition and a 
hierarchy ; and from the barbaric violence, the crimes and 
wretchedness of the time, the spiritual usurpation grew 
like an exhalation from hell soil. Over province, diocese, 
nation and continent, the hierarchical structure rose in 
many storied gloom, arch on arch and vault over vault, 
till it culminated in a central dome that loomed through 
the pale night over the nations like the palace of infernal 
Dis." . . . 

Hut "the eternal ideas of humanity, suppressed, stifled, 
crushed down in darkness and deeps, manacled, blinded 
for ages, have at times burst their prison-house ; and, like 
the children of Old Night, have emerged — a power of 
blind rage — into the superior realms. Like the giants 
of ancient fable, bound under Erebus, with the closures 
of the mountains above them, but at last bursting their 
chains, upheaving the rent earth as they rose, and stand- 
ing before the sun stalwart, grim, and vast, blinded with 
the sudden light and with rage ; then rushing with the 
broken bars of Tartarus and the seized thunders of Jove 
on Olympus, and driving the superior gods to the outer 
abysses — so these eternal forces of humanity, long pris- 
oned under night, often bloodily beaten back in attempted 
uprisings, have at times upheaved against the pressure of 


despotisms piled higher than /Etnas upon them, and, 
overturning thrones and empires and civilizations as they 
rose, have emerged into the realms of power. 

" The earth has shuddered at their ruinous wrath and 
their million-handed strength, and the high ones have 
fled from their seats in terror. Maddened and blinded 
by ages of night and wrong, trodden down and crushed 
in the name of God, finding the heavens apparently 
banded with their oppressors, the Church conspiring with 
the State, they have raged alike against the thrones of 
earth and heaven, brandishing their broken manacles 
both in the face of God and the king. 

" So it has often been in modern history. So it 
was, signally, with France at the close of the last cen- 
tury. ... So it has been in other European upheavings 
and revolutions, and so it must ever be as long as a 
tyrannical Church leagues with a tyrannical State. The 
emancipation of nations will then become insurrection 
against God, and civil liberty impossible. For, as De 
Tocqueville most wisely utters, ' nations to be free must 
believe.' This is the despair of European politics at this 
hour ; placed between the sad alternatives of devout 
tyranny on the one hand and impious and infidel liberty 
on the other ; of freedom without authority or authority 
without freedom ; of rights without duties, or duties 
without rights ; superstition consecrating despotism, or 
skepticism unloosing anarchy ! It is Christian in the 
valley of the shadow of death — on one side the bottom- 
less, infernal bog, on the other the flames grinning and 
shrieking with goblins and fiends. 

"Christianity seems to have been to the European mind, 
in the mass, an orb of perturbation — not of illumination 
— swaying it as the moon does the water to a tidal move- 
ment, as well on the unillumined as the illumined side of 

2 y4 TR UMA A 'MA A t ELL US POS T. 

the earth. It has stirred the sense of right in millions 
which it has but imperfectly illumined. The light of 
Christianity has touched them as the morning twilight 
strikes through some noisome cavern, arousing to activity 
all the creatures of night — bats, serpents, and all foul 
and venomous things, which more light will disperse. 

" A stronger illumination is required for European eman- 
cipation ; an illumination that shall show them that a 
hierarchy is not Christianity; and Christ a liberator, not 
an oppressor of nations. ' More light ! ' is the cry from 
the million, baffled and groping, amid forms half revealed 
or phantoms — ' more light ! ' like the despairing prayer 
of Ajax in the drama: ' Light, light, light, O gods! and 
in the light even let me die.' 

" So disastrous has been the antagonism of these two 
classes of ideas, these two eternal social forces in history. 
The arch, built up on one side only, has fallen on the 
millions below. Society, driven from its fitting orbit of 
law and liberty, has rushed upon the abysses of despotism 
or anarchy. Civil liberty in perpetuity has seemed impos- 

"Christianity relieves this despair of history. She is 
the term of reconcilement between the two. She weds 
human right to divine. She puts these two forces of the 
social system in adjustment and harmony. She does this 
by giving divine origin, authentication, and inauguration 
to both orders of ideas — those of liberty and those of 
authority. She derives both from God ; baptizes, conse- 
crates, and crowns both. She does this for human rights, 
or those of liberty, by express command, by implication, 
and by institution. . . . 

" In like manner divine right, or that of authority and 
government, is vindicated and inaugurated by Christianity, 
by express precept and implication. She commands, and 


she enjoins on her ministers to teach, subjection to 'the 
powers that be ; to kings, governors and magistrates, not 
only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake.' She vindi- 
cates the rights of social order and the majesty of the 
law, recognizing civil government as an ordinance of 
God. . . . 

" Moreover, not only does Christianity inaugurate and 
set in harmonious coaction these two orders of ideas, 
creative and organic, of free society ; it also ministers to 
the continuance or renewal of social life, by ministering a 
palingenesy — a new birth — to the ideas themselves. 

" The genius of liberty has not always been humane, 
gentle, just; as regardful of duties as of rights; as con- 
siderate of others' claims as ready to assert her own. 
Arrogant, violent, clannish, selfish, has often been her 
manifestation in history. Through these vices her polit- 
ical creations have often perished. But Christianity 
breathes on her the breath of a new life — that of love 
and sympathy with universal humanity — and a love and 
sympathy kindling to the power of a passion, because 
communing with no abstract philosophy, but with the 
person of a living Christ. In consequence these ideas 
will be themselves mightier, and their work more endur- 
ing. For liberty that is partial or selfish, and does not 
assert herself for all men, is illogical and suicidal ; she 
perishes herself, through the violation done to humanity 
she does not vindicate. Liberty, to be immortal, must be 
universal." . . . 

The classic civilization " had no sympathy with the 
rights of man as man, and on this rock it suffered ship- 
wreck. But of our social order among the most hopeful 
signs is a sympathy extending down more and more to 
the masses from all departments of our civilization. Our 
institutions, our political economy, our laws, and our 


literature in all its divisions — philosophy, poetry, history, 
and romance — as also art, mechanic and fine, are all 
more and more of and to and for the million. 

" By this I feel that civilization gives assurance of its 
perpetuity and its approach to the better era, in that its 
circle of sympathy is becoming more and more commen- 
surate with all humanity. 

" In like manner the sentiment of divine right, or of 
authority, which has for the most part been too wont to 
bear itself haughty, insolent, oppressive, and hard of 
heart, is, by Christianity, imbued with a new life, and 
made gentle, reverent, conscientious, and of quick and 
genial sympathy. It cannot but conduce to this result 
that the mightiest and meanest, the wearer of purple as 
of rags, governors, lords, emperors, as well as slaves, must 
each kneel in prayer, morning and evening ; must sue for 
mercy, living, and in the dying hour, and look for doom 
in the great judgment, to one who, in this world, was a 
poor man, a laborer, a carpenter, a Galilaean peasant." . . . 

As restorative means " ' the hearts of the children must 
be turned to the fathers.' . . . Our faith in them must 
be renewed and revived and the national mind must be 
baptized anew in their principles." And the public mind 
must be thoroughly and profoundly impressed with the 
principle that " the voice of constitutional majorities pro- 
nounced in legal, constitutional forms is, under God, the 
supreme law . . . and with the conviction that the abso- 
lute rule of this principle, saving only the divine suprem- 
acy, is the only shelter for the liberty and prosperity of 
us all. . . . 

" We have heretofore thought to incorporate in our 
social and civil order, with eternal rights, human and 
divine, a vast wrong most audaciously and flagrantly 
violative of both. We have thought to do this — to bind 


up the torch and magazine together — and that with the 
self-consciousness of the nineteenth century burning and 
kindling upon it. As well lock up the earthquake or 
muzzle the volcano. . . . 

" A government utterly dark and despotic may live for 
a while from evil consistency. So one purely light and 
free may live immortally with the life of humanity and 
Christianity. But one attempting to combine liberty 
and slavery ties up the tempest in its bosom." 

There has been in our country " no failure of free insti- 
tutions, but the eternal failure of attempting to combine 
them with slavery in the same political system." . . . 

The slave-power "trampled on rights — human and 
divine — and sent forth her defiant challenge to the 
genius of American liberty and the moral sentiment of 
mankind. She disdained to plead at the bar of modern 
civilization. She thought to turn back the courses of 
history and to lead captive its ruling ideas. She opened 
not her prison-doors at the behests of any rights of man 
or of God. She endured no arbitration of earth or of 
heaven between her and her victims. ' They are mine,' 
was her utterance, ' and no power may take them out of 
my hands. I allow no sanctuary for them. I drag them 
alike from the temples of justice and the Church of God. 
I scoff at your cant of philanthropy, your glittering gener- 
alities of liberty, your vapid platitudes of rights, your 
fanatical drivel of humanity. My law is might, and the 
strength of my right arm. I forbid all question of myself. 
I lock up the lips of the eloquent and the pious. I shut 
up the school. I muzzle the press. I repel popular 
enlightenment. I invoke the power of darkness. I lead 
the forces of freedom and Christianity themselves captive 
in my train.' 

"The Highest heard — heard also the wail from the 


deeps, ami he who is no respecter of persons pitied the 
hapless and hopeless millions in the prison-house of ages. 
He touched and commissioned in their behalf the immor- 
tal forces of history, the imperishable ideas of humanity, 
ever living in the heart of the millions. They arose to 
the rescue and pleaded the cause of the victims. The 
Dark Power against which they rose in moral warfare, 
stung, maddened by the assaults it could not avert or 
repel, in rage at the impalpable and immortal assailants, 
struck in blind fury at the Union itself — that Union at 
once her shield and instrument. . . . 

"Slavery — the sighs from her vast prison-house of past 
ages, swollen with the rage and agony of this civil war, 
following her like a tempest — now stands before us, the 
confessed enemy of our national life, reaching hands for 
readmittance across the gulf of public ruin and over the 
graves of half a generation. Shall we clasp those hands 
again, reeking with the blood of a million of our country- 
men ? A mighty army of melancholy, heroic shadows 

" Shall we again bind up the torch and the magazine 
together, and hope to escape explosion ? We attempt an 
impossibility. We are in conflict with eternal and resist- 
less forces. We might sooner wrestle with the stars in 
their courses. We grapple with Omnipotence. 

" Let us build anew, and purely, of Truth, Right, and 
Eternal Ideas. Let us do it for the sake of the human 
race. Their hope is garnered in our trial. If that fails, 
if freedom, stricken down with us by our adhesion to slav- 
ery, perishes on this continent, then the shadow is turned 
back on the dial plate of time for a gloomy cycle. The 
hopes of millions in other lands, long looking to us, 
become for ages a flat despair. 

"Let us do this for the sake of Peace — beautiful, 



blessed Peace ! I long for peace. But I know we cannot 
have it while incorporating elements immortally repug- 
nant into our system political and social. We cannot 
have peace while infolding a crime that draws on us the 
malediction of mankind and the curse of heaven ; while 
at war with the imperishable instincts of humanity and 
the sentiments of religion. With these eternal forces not 
at rest all peace is a mockery and impossibility. . . . 

" Let us eliminate from our social and political life the 
element that drives upon the hopeless conflict. Let us 
build with the eternal ideas of right as our agents and 
standard. Let us do this, I repeat, for the sake of peace. 
We want peace, not so much with rebels, but peace with 
humanity, with Christianity, with the genius of liberty 
and law, with the immortal forces of the human soul, with 
the civilization of Christendom and spirit of the age, and 
with the government of God. Not in accordance with 
these, all peace is mockery ; it will be endless agony and 
fear. In accord with them, we shall have a peace garri- 
soned by the angels of Christianity and the human soul. 
The powers of civilization will be appeased ; the long 
agitation will cease, and the Nemesis of an oppressed race 
will cease to wander through our empire. Otherwise, 
peace, spite of negotiations and reconstructions, is hope- 
less, except over the grave of the nation, or of civilization 

" Let us do this for the sake of the martyrs of this war. 
When we think again to wed American liberty to Ameri- 
can slavery, half a million of forms start from their bloody 
graves to forbid the bans. 'Give us,' they cry, 'our 
guerdon, the reward of our toil and pains and blood ; give 
us a republic, all free, of constitutional liberty, not con- 
stitutional slavery. For this — for this we have given 
freely youth and hope, sweet home, the gladness of this 


fair world, and the joy to behold the sun. Oh, let it not 
be in vain ! ' 

" Refuse to hear that cry and it becomes a mighty 
despair — wailing, like the night wind from the melan- 
choly climes of the 'south, the dirge of national honor, 
liberty, life, and heroic glories, lost evermore. Let us 
hear their cry and give them their guerdon. On their 
heroic graves let us build an arch of liberty and Law ; 
of rights — human and divine — every explosive and 
alien element removed ; an arch triumphal, under which 
coming free nations may march on to new achievement 
and glory. 

"The martyrs of the Republic rest in stoneless, name- 
less graves. They sleep lone and afar. No footsteps of 
love and sorrow may visit their place of rest ; no sister's 
eye may drop a tear over their repose. In grass-grown 
tumuli of multitudinous and promiscuous sepulture, or 
shrouded in autumn leaves in the lone forest dell, in 
the dank everglade, or the cypress gloom, or where the 
orange groves sigh over the unreturning brave ; along 
many a sad stream, rushing purple to the southern gulf 
or those which roll the forms of heroes to the Atlantic 
main ; in high mountain solitudes, or in the depths of the 
ocean, — they sleep until the resurrection morn. 

" Nature guards the mystery of their repose ; the solemn 
winds breathe of it to forest and ocean ; the lone stars of 
night look down upon them, and morn and even drop their 
dewy tears. But from the knowledge of living men not 
only their living forms but their graves are hid forever- 
more. Their being fades into the vast and shadowy past ; 
their dust blends with the air and earth and flood and 
mingles with universal nature. Blessed peace shall come 
again to deck these climes with beauty ; but for our 
martyred heroes it will find no monument, no tomb. 


" Let us build them more than pyramid or mausoleum 
or Westminster — -a temple of living liberty, overarch- 
ing a continent, where the spirits of the true, the loved, 
the gifted, the brave, may come back and walk with the 
memories of holy and heroic souls of all time and with 
the genius of American liberty through the ages. So it 
best fits. Be this great continental Republic their monu- 
ment as it is their grave ; their temple, where the battle 
hymn of heroes and the sweet psalm of the saints shall 
mingle with the clank of no chain, the sigh of no slave. 

" So built, our structure shall stand, guarded for aye, as 
never was Eden by 'limitary cherub,' by the immortal 
forces of the human soul and the Christian faith ; yea, 
o'erwatched perpetually by the Sabaoth of God. So con- 
stituted and guarded, it shall have no principle of decay. 
It shall be in accord with eternal powers. It shall stand 
through earth's better era. With God's favor it shall defy 
the corrosions of time. Its starry symbol, now torn of the 
battle-storm, and beset with treason and hate and the 
powers of darkness, floating aloft far above their impotent 
rage, shall stream on and on, in the skies of beautiful 
peace beyond, till the archetypal constellations shall them- 
selves fall from heaven. And thus our political structure 
— the house of liberty and law and love — shall abide 
till its glory of arch and spire and dome shall blend with 
the amethyst and chrysolite and sapphire of the New 
Jerusalem ! " 



Assassination of President Lincoln, and services at the First and Second 
Preshvterian churches in St. Louis. — Sermon at the First Congregational 
Church, on "The Duty of Intercessory Prayer." — Paper in The North 
American, on " Free Missouri." 

PERHAPS the most memorable among the war scenes 
in St. Louis, with which the life of Dr. Post is 
associated, were those immediately following the assas- 
sination of President Lincoln. 

In that city, as in many others, the fifteenth of April, 
1865, stands by itself in the calendar. It will be remem- 
bered that this day had been set apart by the proclamation 
of Governor Fletcher and by the general consent and 
cooperation of loyal citizens, as a sort of impromptu 
Fourth of July over Richmond fallen and a nation re- 
deemed ; and everything was in readiness for a jubilee of 
bell-ringing and bonfires and parades which should inaugu- 
rate a new era of "good will and peace." That morning 
expectation was on tiptoe for the grand gala day, when 
Booth's pistol shot, by a species of hideous legerdemain, 
in a single hour transformed the feeling of the loyal 
public from joy into horror and smoldering fury that 
needed but a pretext and a victim to burst forth into 
riot and bloodshed. " A crime starting out of the dark- 
ness of past ages suddenly appalled the people with its 
strange horror, skulking into our nation's capital and 
striking at the nation's heart." (Address of Dr. Post at 
subsequent memorial service.) 



Never to be forgotten was that Saturday morning in 
the First Presbyterian Church. Union thanksgiving 
services of the people of that and the Congregational 
church were to be held there, as often on former oc- 
casions, and Rev. Henry A. Nelson and Dr. Post had 
been advertised to address the united congregations. 
When the hour arrived, the clergymen were on the plat- 
form. The national bunting, as on previous war reunions, 
was draped about the pulpit. The crowd was coming in 
through the body of the church and through the galleries 
in vast numbers. The orators, the flags, the audience 
were all there, according to the program as arranged and 
heralded for days through press and pulpit announcements. 
But what a startling and awful shadow seemed to have 
fallen upon the scene ! The national flags, instead of 
lending their usual bright colors, were ghastly with the 
signals of death. Through the vast crowd, as it filled the 
seats and swarmed in the aisles and corridors, instead of 
the usual hum and flutter of gathering humanity was a 
hush that was painful. When the organ began to sound, 
its tones were not a Te Deum but a Miserere. The words 
of the opening prayer fell on a congregation still as in v. 
funeral gathering; but the stillness was not so much that 
of an audience stricken by sorrow as of one that was 
stunned and dazed by some great shock. The speakers, 
who had prepared to touch a keynote of praise and 
rejoicing, seemed themselves like men overwhelmed by a 
new and outri form of tragedy whose dialect they could 
not yet master. The first utterances were all the more 
eloquent because wholly unpremeditated and frequently 
choked and broken with emotion. But as the theme 
began to find a voice and the scene at Ford's Theater 
and the White House came up in the imagination, and 
burning denunciations were hurled against the assassin of 



Abraham Lincoln, and at the "deep damnation of his 
taking off," the crowd was stirred as the wind stirs the 
sere forest, and the noise — strange enough in those sur- 
roundings — of clapping hands and stamping feet that 
could not be repressed broke out and rolled tumultuously 
through the congregation. Indelibly impressed on the 
memory in all its circumstances and incidents, that scene 
is recalled rather as a nightmare of the past than as an 
actual chapter in this narrative. 

An occasion very similiar in character was the 
memorial service on the following Wednesday, in the 
Second Presbyterian Church, at which Rev. Samuel J. 
Nichols and Dr. Post were the principal speakers. From 
the address of the latter, as it appeared in the morning 
paper the next day, is the following : — 

"There has been presented before me while sitting 
here a far distant scene : the pale form of our beloved 
President being borne from the mansion of dignity and 
government and power, where it has been moving and 
where with heart and brain it has been breasting the 
storm and tide of this terrible rebellion for more than 
four years. And I hear the wail going up not only from 
the broken-hearted wife and little boy and manly son ; but 
from ocean to ocean, the great American heart — whatever 
there is that is pure and noble in it — is uttering its sorrow, 
and a wail comes upon all the winds that sweep the conti- 
nent, and will come on winds that sweep the climes 
beyond the seas. 

" And well may we weep ! . . . The meek, the gentle 
and just spirit that so long animated that pale form and 
moved in those mansions has been removed from its 
contact with power and government in this world forever- 
more. A glorious, beneficent gift of God has been with- 
drawn ; and I feel that we may call on the poor and 



distressed and the enslaved and oppressed everywhere 
to mourn. ' Multiply your mourning, ye daughters of 
mercy,' for the good and gentle and merciful one has 
fallen by the stroke of murderous violence. Well may 
we call upon the millions of this land from their cot- 
tages and their hovels and homely homes and their exile, 
to lift the voice of mourning ; for the heart that was 
true and manly in its beat for them is still forever- 
more. . . . 

" Though I cannot contemplate the scene without 
feeling as though one dear to me by blood and kindred 
were in the dust by violence, I cannot pity Abraham 
Lincoln. He is above pity. He is beyond it. 

" In an hour when he was at the acme and height of 
human prosperity and human fame, with the influence of 
the good, the wise and the loyal, all gathering around 
him, with the love of the beneficent and Christian of 
every land fixed upon him, before friends were divided 
on questions that were to be raised — in that very hour, 
by the sudden stroke of the assassin, he is enrolled among 
the martyrs to liberty and humanity for all time, and fixed 
as far above the petty malice that has assailed him as the 
stars in heaven. . . . 

" Abraham Lincoln, with all his faults and all his 
excellencies, has passed to the tribunal not only of 
human history that shall judge him for all time, but to 
the tribunal where all our words and the tumult of our 
grief, and our eulogies, and all our arraignment or accusa- 
tion can never, never touch him more. Ages shall go on, 
till this starry emblem like the starry archetype of heaven 
shall go down in the depths of time ; but in that world 
where he has gone, as he was good, and true, and faithful 
to God, as he was an executor of the divine will and 
obedient to the divine purpose, there he shall dwell with 



the good and the wise that have been delivered from this 
world and from great tribulation and have washed their 
robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." 

In line with the above addresses is the following 
extract, taken from a sermon delivered at the First Con- 
gregational Church, May 7, 1865 ; the theme being 
"The Duty of Intercessory Prayer": — 

"One signal instance of the fulfillment of such prayer 
has been recently exhibited in the public events of our 
times, the memory of which should not perish. It should 
become historic. They strikingly exemplify also God's 
strange, and to us often terrible, modes of fulfillment. 
A little more than four years ago he for whom the land 
now is in mourning, on the eve of his departure for 
Washington and for a future whose troubled and 
mysterious aspect God only could penetrate, as he stood 
on the platform of the departing car, uttered to his 
friends and neighbors the farewell words : ' Pray for me ! ' 
And they did pray for him, and millions of others have 
prayed for him, lovingly and earnestly. 

" Such was the departure. I was at Springfield last 
Wednesday and witnessed the return. And in what form 
strange and terrible to the petitioner, yet most kind and 
faithful, God often answers prayer ? Vast multitudes were 
assembled, expectant of the return. But there were no 
signs of jubilation — no cheers, no shoutings, as of those 
that wait a victor. They seemed hushed and bowed as by 
a mighty grief. A vast and silent woe seemed upon the 
air, and symbols of mourning were upon public and 
private dwellings. Our national colors, half raised and 
draped in sable, drooped as in sorrow ; or moving sadly in 
the languid air, cast on the thronged streets and walls 
below weird waving shadows, that seemed as specter 
banners borne by specter hands of shadowy armies from 



far-off battlefields, gathering here to welcome their great 

" And now on the vast hush breaks the minute gun, 
detonating into space, like the outburst of some mighty 
soul breaking from its mortal closures into the abysses of 
eternity; and the sky murmurs with funeral bells, as if 
the spirits of the air were knelling some parting soul. 
Anon music, ineffably sad and sweet, comes wailing from 
multitudes of instruments and choral voices, as if the 
refrain of a mighty requiem, that, starting from the Atlan- 
tic's murmur, pouring along rivers and mountains and the 
shores of inland seas, had at last come freighted with the 
funeral cry of cities and states, to breathe its dying 
cadence over a tomb at Springfield waiting to receive 
the dead. 

" Presently a cortege appears — not as the cortege of 
a returning conqueror. The mighty in council and in 
battle are beside it, but in silence and in tears. No 
cheers greet it. It comes not in the colors of victory 
but in the drapery of the tomb. 

" And now, as the throngs, silent and reverent, press 
once more to behold the form they loved so well, it is to 
see that kindly face and noble brow pale marble with the 
majesty of death. He that departed asking their prayers, 
and for whom they had most earnestly prayed, now 
returns marred and slain by the hand of the assassin. 
And this is the manner of his return — murdered, cof- 
fined, and his darling little Willie, that went to Washing- 
ton so glad with sweet life, brought back a withered 
flower amid other withered flowers around the dead 

" ' And this the answer to prayer ! ' the superficial, 
worldly, sensuous throng might exclaim. 'This the bless- 
ing promised to faithful petition ! ' 


" ' Yes, this is a faithful answer ; true with God's truth,' 
replies not ' faith ' only, but a truer and profounder 
'sight.' Yes, this is most truly the return of a victor; 
of one blessed of God beyond almost all others of the 
sons of men. His mission has been a success ; his return 
a triumph hardly equaled in the showings of all history. 
That cortege, that for seventeen hundred miles has struck 
the pulses of every sky beneath which it has passed with 
a mighty requiem, that has called up cities and nations to 
wail around it, is surely the cortege of a conqueror receiv- 
ing such an ovation as the earth never saw before. The 
millions that waited around his bier — the high and the 
lowly, the rich and the children of toil and sorrow, the 
weeping multitudes of a dark and wronged race — all 
these — young men and maidens, old men and children, 
gathering with flowers and tears around that bier, repre- 
sent an ovation of universal humanity, an ovation 
anticipating the verdict of universal history, attesting a 
genuine truth and manhood, a heroism of justice and 
mercy, honesty and magnanimity, proved in an era of 
trial the most difficult and terrible in history. 

" Yes, God had blessed him, had gifted him with loyalty 
to duty, fealty to honor, truth and charity, steadfast 
against the corruptions of place and power, the flatteries 
of parasites, and intimidations of foes. Amid the tumults 
of factions and the rage of war, God had borne him up 
and kept him pure, merciful, just, hopeful against 
calumny, ridicule, hate, perplexities, disappointments, 
despairs. He had endowed him with vision, faith and 
courage, to discern and grasp and steadfastly hold great 
and lasting principles, which, rising above the confusion of 
the times, bore him up also, and rising evermore in history 
will bear up his name with the highest of all of human- 
kind amid the objects of a world's love and fame. Tears 


of love and honor and sorrow will flow for him as long as 
intrepid principle and gentle mercy and a loving humanity- 
shall be honored among the sons of men. 

" Yea, as I looked on that majestic manhood, lying pale 
and low, I felt that God had answered prayer — had most 
truly ' blessed ' him. I was comforted for the fact that 
those lips were now forever mute, as I remembered that 
their mortal utterances had ever been true to liberty and 
humanity, to his country and to God, and now by martyr- 
dom had been placed amid the hallowed and immortal 
forces of history. I was consoled that that hand could 
never again greet my own with its genial, generous pres- 
sure, in the thought that it had been nerved amid its 
pulses of life to write the Proclamation of Freedom to 
an enslaved race." 

Among other papers bearing on political war issues, and 
the last, as it is the most jubilant, of Dr. Post's utterances 
on war topics which will be referred to, was an article 
published in the April number of The North American 
Review for 1865, entitled " Free Missouri," and taking for 
special text the ordinance of the State Convention, passed 
January 1 1 of that year, declaring the abolition of slavery 
in her borders. 

Although the authorship of this article is not announced 
with its publication, it is stated in the general index of 
subjects and authors afterwards published. "It was at 
that time," writes Thomas C. Fletcher (then governor of 
Missouri), "the subject of very extensive and favorable 
comment, especially among old and steadfast Union men." 
He recalls the fact that the State Board of Immigration 
had before it the suggestion of Honorable Frederick 
Muench to translate the article and publish it in pamphlet 
form for distribution in Germany. 

This paper gives a graphic picture of physical Missouri, 



its area, its resources in soil and minerals, its rivers and 
streams, and its local vantage ground among the states ; 
and it condenses in thirty-three pages of the magazine a 
large amount of statistics and information. 

" But," says the writer, " over this land, presenting 
such a picture of fertility and beauty, and such promise of 
agricultural and pastoral, manufacturing and commercial 
prosperity, has brooded one institution that, like a plague, 
seems to have struck at once a blight on man and nature. 
That institution was slavery, — the fatal gift extorted for 
her by friends, falsely so called, in a convulsion that well- 
nigh shook down the Republic, — wrung from unwilling 
and remonstrant reasons and consciences by threats of 
dissolution of the Union, and in the name of a compro- 
mise since most foully violated. 

" Her beauty and riches were wedded to the great 
wrong of the century, and she passed over with all her 
resources to the enemies of liberty and progress. . . . 

" Slavery, having become identified with state pride, 
policy and supposed interest, enlisted her against the 
cause of civilization and social progress. It poisoned her 
intellect and passion. It suborned her thought, spirit 
and speech, to the championship of falsehood and crime. 
It paralyzed her enterprise ; muzzled or perverted the 
press. It drove from her the free school and free church, 
together with free labor and free thought. It stifled 
invention, despised improvement, dishonored industry 
and economy, and repelled skilled work. It mastered, 
as an evil genius, not only politics, but literature, and 
corrupted the very heart and soul of society." 

Such had been the power and effect of the slave system 
in this commonwealth ; but the emancipation ordinance of 
1865 was to herald in a new society and political life. 
"Such a new life already begins to beat through the 



heart of free Missouri — a life which we believe will be- 
come a power to heal the terrible wounds that have been 
inflicted on her by her own children in this cruel war, and 
with which it seemed she might bleed to death. She 
feels a strange and mighty force at work within her that 
shall repair her fearful desolations. She feels new life 
pulsating through all her vast domain. She hears the 
footsteps of free multitudes coming from near and far, 
attracted by her peerless natural gifts — multitudes which 
shall more than restore the ruin. They shall bring to her 
skill, industries, enterprise, intelligence and a social and 
physical well-being, unknown before, and which could not 
dwell in the presence of the slave. Above all, her great 
wrong purged away, she may now dare look up and see 
the heavens propitious over her, and through the rifted 
clouds behold the throne girt with the bow of peace — 
peace with eternal law, with omnipotent right, with 
humanity, civilization and the government of God. . . . 

" With slavery done away, no fears need be entertained 
that feuds will continue to fester in the body politic. 
The subserviency of public opinion to it" (slavery) "can 
only exist because of force, fear, interest, or of a false 
political and social position. But let all influences per- 
turbing natural action be removed, let the bribe of 
interest be withdrawn, let society be restored to its 
natural status, and there will be a rebound of public 
opinion, vehement in proportion to the pressure and 
violence to which it has been subjected. . . . 

"To all the natural odiousness of slavery will also have 
been added the guilt of this most foul rebellion, with all 
its cruelties and crimes. . . . 

"The antislavery sentiment will also tend to become 
more overwhelming and universal henceforth, because of 
its prestige of victory and power. . . . 

" Freedom will, meantime, be vindicating itself by its 


fruits, and a new and more intelligent immigration, invited 
in by the downfall of slavery, will be throwing the con- 
stantly increasing weight of its numbers and influence 
into the scale of liberty, socially and politically. . . . 

" Our reliance for the future must be on religious and 
intellectual forces, more than on those of arms. The 
schoolhouse and church will guard the land better than 
fortresses and garrisons. For the purposes required, all 
our people must unite — the patriot, the philanthropist, 
the statesman, and the Christian. We must accept, as 
men and Christians, the inexorable logic of our own past 
wrongs, and be ready to meet and mitigate, as far as 
possible, the consequences they have entailed, and to 
respond manfully to the demands which self-interest and 
patriotism, as well as justice and humanity, make upon us 
in behalf of an oppressed race. . . . 

"Let the demands of the hour be fitly met, and 
Missouri enters on a career of unsurpassed prosperity. 

" Sad is the story of her sale to slavery. All her 
beauty and strength and riches and magnificent future 
bound and bartered to that dark power ; its chains put on 
her virgin hands and its accursed seal on lip, heart, and 
brain. Melancholy, monitory, opprobrious, and at last 
terribly tragic has been the drama of 'Missouri Bound.' 
Thank God ! it is past — the wretched cycle of her binding. 
The agony is over ; the chain, rusting with her blood and 
tears, is broken forever. This clay, Missouri — bruised, 
spoiled, trampled, bleeding, wasted with murder and fire 
and battle — yet is free ! Her foot on her broken chain, 
she stands erect before earth and heaven, claiming the 
sympathy of both, her eye fixed hopefully on a beautiful 
future that seems as ' descending from God out of heaven ' 
to restore her land from desolation, and make it the 
permanent abode of freedom, justice, happiness and 
peace ! " 



Blind days again ; and removal of cataract in Boston. — Articles in The 
Chicago Advance on " Old Age." 

IN 1865 Dr. Post underwent an operation in Boston 
for the removal of cataract. This disorder had for 
years been gradually dimming his eyesight, and total 
blindness was then setting in. For a long time he had 
been compelled to use the eyes as well as the pen of his 
devoted wife. Texts and hymns he would commit to 
memory, and would recite rather than read from the open 
page before him. Something of his accustomed walks he 
continued to take from day to day, but gropingly and 
counting the steps as he went. He literally " walked by 
faith rather than by sight," and more and more in solitary 
ways and left to his own thoughts ; on the whole bravely 
cheerful, yet at times in deep despondency. 

In July, 1865, he writes from Providence, with a waver- 
ing and uncertain pen : — 

"My dear Children, — I have not written a line to any 
of you since I left St. Louis. You know the reason, but 
do not know that now I should not attempt to break the 
seals but that it is inexpressibly painful to me to think 
I am to write to my children no more. 

" My thoughts, my love, my prayers, are with you ever, • 
and I love so much to communicate with you directly, it 
seems to me at times as if I were cut off and isolated 
from my household and walking alone till the Great 
Morning breaks. Your utterances of love and affection 


have a deep ' echo in my heart, though you may not 
hear it.' . . . 

" I write this not as a letter or as an apology for one, 
but from the inexpressible desire of my heart to speak to 
you and utter my ' God bless you.' " 

On the sixteenth of August the cataract was removed 
with very successful results by Dr. Williams, at the 
Boston Hospital. 

Five days afterward Mrs. Post writes : " I am glad to 
think of you now as being apprised of the success of 
the trying and delicate operation. Your dear father says : 
'Tell them all not to forget God's goodness to us ; but let 
it lead them henceforth to be his active servants.' . . . 
We shall now add another to our memorial days, not only 
the first of May and the first of November, but the six- 
teenth of August as the crowning mercy." 

August 26 she writes : " The time seems long. At 
first I dreaded the nights — they were so dark, and he 
required more attention than now. But at present I 
rather welcome the darkness, for the friendly moon 
lightens our room somewhat, and I can draw aside the 
dark curtains. . . . 

" I feel that if his eyesight is restored and you at home 
all live to welcome us back, we shall have cause to sing 
thanksgiving all the days of our lives." 

September 5, the news is still better: " Yesterday the 
doctor brought with him some cataract glasses and put 
one before your father's left eye, first parading the wife 
around in front to be looked at, in spite of my assertions 
that he had seen enough of me. But the patient said he 
had not seen my face so clearly for five years. The 
doctor then opened The Eclectic, and your father read a 
sentence from it aloud and said that he could see the type 


distinctly. Afterward the doctor drew aside the window 
curtain and told him to look at the flowers on the lawn in 
front. ' Oh, beautiful ! beautiful ! Thank God for light ! ' 
was his exclamation. . . . 

" I had a feeling of light-hearted happiness all day yes- 
terday, such as I cannot describe. I did not shout aloud, 
but I sang and made melody in my heart to God." 

Not long after the date of this letter Dr. Post was 
released from his imprisonment and returned home ; and 
from that time onward, while the cataract glasses were 
indispensable, yet with their aid he enjoyed — what was, 
to one of his constant habit of reading, an unspeakable 
blessing — a completely restored vision. 

In the year 1868, although Dr. Post still lacked two 
years of sixty, his whitening locks and pale face and his 
spectacles gave the impression of greater age and made 
him seem quite venerable ; and, to one hearing him in 
public, this impression was oftentimes aided by his habit 
of communing with themes of the past and with those 
which belong to the lore of life's sunset. But notwith- 
standing these touches of autumn upon his face and these 
mental habitudes, Dr. Post possessed a youth of the soul 
which never felt the frosts of time. 

In this year, 1868 (February 13), an editorial in The 
Chicago Advance made reference to the "venerable Dr. 
Post, of St. Louis, who stands erect and vigorous under 
his burden of sixty summers"; which quotation — while 
Dr. Post playfully rejected the title of "venerable" — was 
made the text of a number of characteristic articles. 

From the first, entitled "Old Age: Senescence not 
Senility," is the following: — 

" Senescence is not senility, nor are years old age. 
There is possible a youth of the soul that defies time. 


' While the outward man perishes, the inward' — the true 
— man ' may be renewed day by day.' ' The River of the 
Water of Life ' is the fountain of perpetual youth ; and of 
that we may drink, even here, and not die. Life may be 
long and not old : long either through duration or inten- 
sity. For length of life is not measured merely or mainly 
by circles of the sun, but more by the intensity or large- 
ness of our sense of being, or our conscious selfhood. 
Events and interests which intensify this sense make life 
long or great, but do not bring of necessity old age of 
soul with them. Rather this intense sense of existence 
is a prophylactic against all old age; antiseptic to that 
spiritual deadness and decay that are its essence. So 
man may live long and count few summers. He may be 
aged and not old ; his years many and his soul ever young. 

"That intense sense of existence which expands moments 
into months, or curdles years into hours, is quickened in 
the presence of those vast truths that time reveals, and 
which often make life and soul solemn, seemingly somber, 
with their awful shadows ; but truths which, though often, 
like stars, uncovering their faces only in night and gloom, 
yet legitimately, should make the soul healthier, stronger, 
and mightier ; not deadening but quickening its sympa- 
thies with whatever there may be of young life or beauty 
in the earthly and transient ; not divorcing from time, 
but wedding to eternity; even through earth's ideal touch- 
ing the immortally real, and feeling through all the pulses 
of time the heartbeat of the everlasting. 

"Nor need youth's ideals — forms from that 'heaven' 
that lies ' about us in our infancy ' — wither away with our 
years. In souls that are growing old they may change to 
mockeries or die into the loathsomeness of the corpse; 
but in those that truly live, touched by divine trust and 
love, they should grow to a holier and sweeter beauty with 



years. They will pass by transfiguration and glorification 
to shapes immortally young beside God's throne; or what- 
ever is illusion in them will, as it vanishes, be as cloud 
forms rolling off the shining mountains." 

Another paper, headed "Old Age: God's Gift," con- 
tains the following: — 

..." The law of decay is on the body. There no 
charm can stay it ; there is no enchantment against it. 
Mental manifestation, which uses for the time the body 
as its organ, must be conditioned, to a degree, on the 
state of its material medium, and becomes limited and 
enfeebled as it is impaired. But may we not keep the 
life of the soul fresh, though its utterance is restricted 
through the mold upon its clay tabernacle? It may, we 
believe, be kept quick, delicate, powerful, young, even 
though the tongue stammers and the step falters and the 
blood flows more sluggishly through the veins. 

" The lessons and losses of our earthly being should be 
disciplined to a spiritual excellency and power more than 
compensative. Age, so dreaded as cold, lone, drear, con- 
gealed, may be like the peaks of some high volcanic 
mountain projecting themselves out of masses of ever- 
green only to reflect serener and purer light, and by 
their own interior ever-glowing fires lifted above cloud 
and fog into the loftier and grander converse with the 
upper infinite. So, congealed and lone and drear as age 
may seem, it may yet be serener, grander, and nearer 
heaven. It may feel more the airs that come from eter» 
nity. But these airs are perpetually vitalizing. They 
come from the fields of immortal youth. Still it is our 
duty to keep young as long as we can, and as one means 
of keeping off mold from the soul, do not allow yourself 
to be made old before your time. Do not be 'venerable'- 


ized prematurely into decrepitude and retirement. Con- 
tend bravely for your manly life and force, as a great 
gift of God, and do not be revered or venerated out of 
your consciousness of it. Consent to no burial alive, with 
whatever funeral pageant or honors. Do not be eulogized 
or epitaphed into entombment before your time. 

" Beware of being shelved through overmuch venera- 
tion, of being be-' fathered ' or be-' reverenced ' into non- 
action or nonentity. Consent not to be untimely niched, 
even though they will burn incense to your statue, or will 
bear it about in state ; nor to be ' suspended ' prematurely 
in the historic picture gallery, though it be of dead saints 
and heroes. Accept no early apotheosis, no enshrinement 
among ' dumb ' idols, worshiped because they are dumb. 
Be chary of welcoming homage rendered only to departed 
worth, and that on condition that it return not to trouble 
the living. 

..." Yet accept age, when it comes, as a good gift 
of God, the kindliest, most favored issue nature permits 
to your earthly life, and granted to few, comparatively, 
among the sons of men. As it comes by heaven's appoint- 
ment, as a part of life's drama, so you may be sure it 
comes with peculiar gifts of power, privilege and duty. 
It is due to its Giver that we study its functions, proprie- 
ties, and possibilities, and its fitting culture ; consider its 
position and accept the situation with what it gives and 
what it takes away. In order thus to accept it, there is 
need we meet it prepared for its necessary or probable 

" Losses in physical vigor and grace' and in power of 
mental action or utterance, the foreshortening of earthly 
perspective and hope, a life with diminished and con- 
stantly diminishing capital, a loss, to some extent, in 
practical estimate, and demonstrations of such estimate 



by the world — which gauges such estimate and demon- 
stration by the possibilities attaching to one's future, and 
even pays court to power and hope — these we must be 
prepared for, as also for a degree of personal isolation, 
from the diminution of the personal magnetism of youth, 
and the loss of early friends by death, changes, alienation, 
or the intervention of new persons and interests crowding 
us asunder with the course of years ; for lives ' tracking 
their streams' to the same 'parent lake' flow on in diver- 
gent lines, with vaster and vaster stretches of continent 
intervening, till at last they move on solitary to the 
solemn and silent main. 

" Against depressing influences from incidents like 
these we must arm ourselves as we approach age ; and 
also for a struggle against a sense — fanciful or true — 
of neglect, oblivion, or ingratitude on the part of society 
when we have strength no longer to give to it. These, 
if they seem to us facts, we are to accept as lessons of 
man and life, and 'bating not a jot of heart or hope,' or 
of human kindness, address ourselves vigorously, cheer- 
fully, and gratefully to our duties still before us. It 
should be our aim, out of the ruins of the material and 
earthly, to build the beauty immortal of the spiritual and 
the heavenly ; from the decay of personal grace and vigor 
to create the imperishable youth of the soul ; to convert 
our very losses into power, excellency and beneficence. 
It will be ours henceforth, in the social economy, to work 
by suffering more than by doing, by counsel more than by 
action. Ours will be the part, eminently, of the milder 
and calmer virtues. Life's stormier era of passion, 
tumult and strife, subsiding, there should follow on its 
subsidence one of clearer reason, larger candor, and pro- 
founder wisdom, as also of kindlier judgments, gentler 
charities, and serener, Christlike peace. Thus losses 


become gains. Our earthly unclothing shall be ' clothed 
upon' by 'our house which is from heaven.' The fading 
of the colors of earth shall make brighter those of the 
New Jerusalem. The lifting of mundane cloud forms 
shall reveal the shining country. The desolations of time 
shall set our faces more heavenward ; our isolation drive 
us more to the bosom of our eternal Friend ; the detach- 
ing from earth attaching to the skies ; the decay of the 
material vesture and the sundering of earthly bonds, being 
the progressive loosening and pluming of the spirit's 
pinions for its everlasting flight." 

In another contribution, under the caption, "Time and 
Experience : Vitalizers, not Wasters," is a passage written 
under the fresh memories of his blind days, three years 
before : — 

" Soberness the most intense, solemn even to sadness, 
and the profoundest sense of time and eternity, these are 
not the constituents of senility — counteractives rather. 
They may be its very negation. Changes profound, vast, 
startling, may have power to invigorate, regenerate, reju- 
venize. They may be of a nature to brace, nerve, refine 
and exalt, while they quicken, deepen and broaden, our 
self-consciousness ; prophylactic against torpidity or maun- 
dering fatuity. Such experience bears us into awful deeps, 
moors us amid the scenery of mighty and vast truths — 
the strange and solemn forms of a new earth and heaven ; 
but the air around is tonic with the power of an endless 
life, and illumined from the more thinly veiled face of the 
Eternal Beauty and Eternal Light. Under influences like 
those the soul grows, not decays. It is more profoundly, 
intensely vital, all the while. 

" Experiences of this type must have thronged life to 
most men, amid the terrible and vast events of the past 
few years, and seem now to be throwing over our Amer- 


ican society and character a deeper shadow, but not a 
death shade. 

" Amid events tending to results above indicated, and 
most powerfully to engrave on the soul the imprint of 
time, and give length as well as shadowiness to the 
impress of our day of life, is the interjection of a night 
in the midst of this day; a night of blindness between 
two periods of vision, in a manner duplicating life by 
dividing it into two compartments by a partition of dark- 
ness. To see the written page fade out and then the face 
of men and then of nature and then the ever-shining 
heavens grow dim and the constellations ' star by star ex- 
pire ' ; to walk along the borders of perpetual night and feel 
no dawn is coming till that of the resurrection morning ; to 
have felt all this, and then by heavenly love to be called 
back again from that 'dark sojourn' and placed once 
more in the ways of the light, with the solemn joy and 
awe of a new faculty and a new commission from God — 
such experience tends to deepen and intensify one's con- 
sciousness of existence and to make the restored light 
seem like the resurrection life, young, yet solemn with 
the shadow of time that has been. The interval that 
divides the two seasons of light none can describe, not 
even one who has passed through it. A feeling that 
attaches to the twilight and moonlight — the dimness of 
the infinite — is in it ; the sense of waning moons and 
setting stars and of the majesty of darkness alone in 
heaven. Then that majesty, as in new genetic fiat, utters 
again, ' Let there be light,' and creation's morning chimes 
are heard again in the heavens. All things in the new 
sunrise are lustrous with the dew of youth, and the fresh- 
ness of a new being touches nature and soul. Especially 
the idea of duration is intensified; as, in the newly restored 
light, in the reillumined page of remembered faces is read 



the legend of care and wear and toil and tears, written 
there during our night of nature, together with touches 
of the hastening transfiguration that have thickened 
there during the season of darkness. Changes strongly- 
marked to your suddenly restored faculty to peruse them, 
breaking on you as in morning vision to one awakening 
from slumber, deepen your idea of elapsed time. A 
strange solemnity, like the sober coloring life's sunset 
gathers to the eye 'that hath kept watch o'er man's mor- 
tality,' a solemnity as of eld, yet such we may imagine as 
the ever-young angels feel, attaches to all things. The 
mind is toned with a sense of profounder significancy in 
all things. The music of nature comes sweeter and 
holier, but in a minor key, and as chiming from some 
far-off sky of our gone being. Spring comes with love- 
lier, sadder beauty. The face of the night is more weird 
and spiritual. The morning blazes from a higher orient 
and the stars shine out of a deeper sky. 

" So with other vast changes years may bring. Life 
may become profounder, loftier, intenser, and the soul's 
pulse beat all the deeper and stronger for them. Time 
that destroys the material should build the spiritual, and 
experience, under the rule of a God of light and love, 
instead of dulling, deadening, should stimulate, renovate, 
and vitalize the soul of man." 

From the last article in the series on " Perpetual 
Youth" is the following: — 

" It [old age] is especially the uniter in social life of 
the seen and temporal with the unseen and eternal. Its 
standpoint is between the earthly present and the eternal 
future. It has moved along life's voyage to the zone of 
calms — those lone and silent depths where the time 
storm is lulled, the passion and strife of time grows 
feeble, and the great life-beat of eternity comes in, in 


vast, solemn tidal pulses. Beyond the illusion and fever 
of earlier years, far out toward the verge of the real and 
everlasting, it stands as mediating between two worlds — 
as an electric agency, constituted by God to charge the 
mundane and shadowy with the power of an endless life. 

"This office is one which properly revitalizes and reju- 
venates. The soul that sympathizes with the everlasting 
never grows old. The touch of eternity is immortal 
youth. Faith transfigures death. The life of heaven, 
living in a human soul here, lives for evermore. He that 
liveth and believeth in the life eternal shall never die. 
Perpetual youth is of the spirit — spiritual. 

" To those aspiring after it, it may then be said, its 
secret is not far to seek. Sympathy is its eternal life- 
fountain ; sympathy with all that lives, with humanity in 
all its stages and tenses ; but especially sympathy with 
the living, and, most of all, with the young world. Love 
childhood and live with it. Its touch renews. The mys- 
terious magnetism, drawing age towards it, is an instinc- 
tive recognition of this law. Bless God for little children ! 
As angels of renewal and juvenescence they perpetually 
come into the grand old march of the world. Frequent 
the circles of the young. Be young with them, but not 
like them. 

" Cleave to old friends. Never forsake them. Visit 
them often. They will keep you en rapport with the clays 
of your youth. Aim, if practicable, to spend age amid 
old scenes and memories, where the days of strength 
have treasured a capital against the days of feebleness — 
the days when we can no longer elicit new claims or 
attract new friends. But new ones, should heaven send 
them, welcome as infusers of new life into the stream 
of age. 

" Action vitalizes; Work rejuvenates ; it prohibits rust, 


mold, stagnation ; especially that work which puts you 
in sympathy with all the soul's life, and unites time to the 
eternal years of heaven — the work of evangelization or 
of salvation in the name of Him that 'liveth and was 
dead, and behold, he is alive forevermore.' 

"Ever learning also keeps us ever young. New truths 
quicken us with the freshening of a new life. Keep up 
with the ideas of the age. Live with the life of civiliza- 
tion. Be hopeful for humanity. Rejoice in progress. 
Do not expect wisdom will die with you ; nor that truth, 
reason, or the Divine Spirit, will with you abandon the 
world. Hold faith in God and man, in truth and virtue. 

" Above all things, put on charity. Charity is the 
eternal dew of youth. To love is to live ; to love rightly 
and truly is to live forever. Love is the River and the 
Tree of Life, and unites the soul with the Eternal Life, 
whose name is Love. Keep ever young by the love of 
the beautiful, the good and true ; and keep that love 
young by perpetual communion with the Lord of beauty, 
goodness and truth. 

" So shall your earthly life be transfigured and trans- 
lated, that it see not death. All its forces and memories 
shall become pulses of immortality ; and the all-vitalizing 
Spirit shall ever breathe on you from the climes eternal. 
Age shall become as the cape of Beulah, beyond the skies 
of storm, lying far out toward the shining shore, where 
the air is always mild and sweet, and the light ever soft 
and serene, and through the hallowed solitudes from 
beyond the death shade and the dark river, from the 
heights of immortality, ever and anon and nearer and 
nearer come rifts of the Psalm of Life, — hymn of even- 
ing and of morning — vesper of time and matin of 
eternity, — the new song of the ever young." 



Pilgrim Chapel. — Services of recognition. — Sundry publications relating 
to national politics. 

IN the year 1866 the chapel of Pilgrim Congregational 
Church, which was the eldest born of the mother 
church on Tenth Street and has been such a power in 
the denomination, was completed and dedicated. The 
new enterprise marked the growth of Congregationalism 
in St. Louis. It showed also the westward drift of popu- 
lation in that city and the chronic disadvantage of local 
surroundings, more than once alluded to in these pages, 
against which the old church was compelled so long to 
contend. The movement which resulted in the organ- 
ization of the Pilgrim Church took away from the First 
Church a number of very active and much valued mem- 
bers, who believed that a church of this order was needed 
in the new and rapidly filling territory in the western 

In the services of recognition which were held in the 
chapel building, in the rear of the present main edifice of 
the Pilgrim Church, Dr. Post gave to the young offshoot 
the "right hand of fellowship." Of this discourse, wrote 
a newspaper correspondent who gave an account of the 
affair, " It was one of the noblest speeches I ever heard ; 
great even for Dr. Post." 

From the address, which was delivered without notes 
and published without any attempt at revision, the follow- 


ing extract is clipped from a St. Louis newspaper of the 
next day : — 

" Dearly beloved, I feel almost as though it were a 
mockery to stand here and offer you my fellowship — 
almost as though the parties to a golden wedding were 
required to get up and make protestation of their 

" Brethren, we have had fellowship through many a 
weary year, many of us. We have walked before God 
through months and years that measure much of human 
life. As that list was read over, how the names thrilled 
me, as one and another and another, associated with our 
story in the past, with life's labors and hopes and joys 
and struggles, were repeated ! There are those here 
before me with whom, for many years, we have had 
fellowship in the bridal and funeral, in the house of God 
and in the place of prayer, over the solemnities and sor- 
rows of the tomb ; we have had fellowship in trial, in 
suffering and anxiety and uncertainty ; and there are 
faces I see around me between whom and myself, through 
all these years, never has cloud formed ; and to this hour 
it is a joy to think that not a word or a thought or a 
breath but what may be remembered with pleasure, and 
that has savored of kindness and friendship, has marked 
the history between me and a large number who enter 
into this organization. That fellowship will go with me 
to future years, and shall be a comfort as we enter that 
shadow that to me is near, and to none of you is afar. 
We have lived together — I speak now to those whose 
memories go with me — we have lived together peculiarly 
alone here, far away from the sympathy or aid of churches 
of our own order. We have been given over by God to 
each other peculiarly. We have trusted each other ; if 
we had not, our enterprise long since would have crum- 



bled. We have loved and aided each other. In spite of 
invitations and remonstrances, I have preferred to give 
the strength of my years in trust to you, committing this 
life and its interests, my reputation and my hopes, to your 
care, and our hearts have been open to each other — mine 
has been to you, and I believe yours to me. I seem to 
see a new scene. It is but a few days since, seemingly, 
and yet, since it passed, the child that was in its mother's 
arms then has borne arms for the country and given his 
blood for deliverance. 

" Some fifteen or sixteen years ago, a small company — 
some of you will remember it with me — stood up side by 
side in the assertion of the principles which we have had 
here recited and so ably expounded to us. We stood side 
by side, and the shadow of a dark power was over us 
that laid its hand on the moral and spiritual world, upon 
earth and stream and the soul of man, and pervaded all 
human society and threw its Upas tendrils around the 
Church of God ; and that power that mastered the state and 
society was most malign to our principles ; and the atmos- 
phere was cold — oh! how cold, that atmosphere of indif- 
ference or of ignorance and prejudice surrounding us! 
Had you not been true, and had not true men been here, 
this beginning would have been swept away ; but God 
gave to you love and truth, and honor and trust, and 
thereby we lived and lived on. We lived, we grew ; at 
length without the aid of a single dollar from any one 
out of our city, with the raising of that sum among our- 
selves when we were poorer than now, we built a church, 
and we rejoiced as we entered into that sanctuary. Then 
came other days and other forms of trial. The surge of 
rebellion rolled over the land, and that dark power that 
had so long threatened us and aimed to crush us down, 
that power was arrayed against the genius of liberty, 


against the power of the mighty idea which lies at the 
foundation of our republic. In those days when it was 
not simply ostracism, but almost the peril of a man's life 
to be true, in those days side by side most of this church 
stood ; in those days we relied upon each other, in trust 
and confidence ; and shall we not now ? And then when 
came the glad era and we rejoiced as the light broke, the 
storm fled and the bow of the Lord was upon the stars, 
the voice of Jehovah thundered and the dark fragments of 
the storm were seen and the glorious morn arose. We 
rejoiced because the human soul was unbound and 
society was released, and there was opportunity for free 
movement, for carrying forward our principles. We re- 
joiced then together ; and now as this era of prosperity 
brings us to a period when it is expedient for us, for the 
multiplication of influence, that we go forth from each 
other, shall this sundering be the sundering of fellowship? 
Nay, nay ; never ! May God give us grace still to hold in 
view the common great need, and we still shall have fel- 
lowship. And oh, if the hours come which tempt other- 
wise, if evil counsel should ever arise and evil thoughts 
be busy, let us go back to Bellefontaine and look on our 
common dead. Let us remember a Mack, a Plant, a 
Whitney, a Chapin, a Forbes, a Knox, voices that should 
come from out the past, that belong to us both ; voices 
that invoke us to the glorious fellowship of heaven. Let 
us work on side by side. The Christian heights are not 
afar, and if it be the Lord's will that we may not again work 
together as we have, oh, let us still remember what is the 
past and what we have been ! and as our eyes have grown 
dim and weary waiting for faces in that far-off circle of which 
I have spoken that are not here, let the eye of hope turn to 
the glorious hereafter in the land of rest, as we are moving 
to one common end, to a common fellowship, and let us 


maintain constant and perpetual love towards each other. 
We may not see each other as we have done. The things, 
the relations of earth are shadows. We have not time 
here for friendships that shall last in their enjoyment. 
But, brethren and sisters, we who stand now, in one sense, 
at the point of parting, there is time enough for us along 
the river of the stream of life, in the soft airs of paradise, 
where the victor hangs up his dinted shield, in air forever 
sweet with the songs of Christ's saints ; there, in our 
Father's house, we will secure the intimacies and joys 
and memories of our life here." 

After the close of the war, as all know, there followed 
in the border states a chapter of reaction and reconstruc- 
tion, full of political excitement and calculated to inspire 
the friends of the Union cause with very grave misgivings. 
During this period Dr. Post wrote frequently for the 
press on topics then agitating the public, such as "The 
Test Oath," "The Causes and Dangers of the Reactionary 
Movement," and "The Lessons of the Hour." 

The following extracts are from an article entitled " The 
Late Elections" : — 

..." The logical consequences of great principles are 
not often fully comprehended by those who feel the right- 
fulness of those principles, and who even do battle in their 
defense. But these consequences are certain to be dragged 
forward and to be pressed for popular acceptance by the 
logic of events. Then they must ultimately be accepted 
or by reaction slay the principles from which they sprang. 
They will consequently be urged forward, on the part of 
some who feel most intensely their reason, right and 
necessity, with all vehemence ; while in turn they will be 
resisted in the same spirit by others who have not reached 
the same standpoint of knowledge and conviction, and 


who dread them as premature and destructive. So that 
questions begun on the battlefield, and victorious there, 
must be argued to their full and ultimate conclusions 
in the halls of legislation or in the popular canvass. 
The arbitrament of the sword has fully and definitely 
to be interpreted and executed by that of ideas and of 
the ballot. As, for example, the import of the English 
Revolution of 1688 has been in debate between the 
Whigs and Tories — parties emerging from that period — 
to this day ; and by this debate of press, parliament, 
and electoral canvass the progress of English liberty 
has been achieved and its civil structure and constitution 
elaborated. So the various parties that have sprung up 
in this country since the American Revolution have been 
to this day discussing the full import of that revolution 
and the logical and rightful consequences of the principles 
announced and vindicated in it. In this question of exec- 
utory measures and legitimate consequences there will 
often occur the rise of parties with new names, or with 
change of base and issues, within the circle of the prin- 
ciples settled previously and perpetually in the great battle 
of revolution or reform. Hence there will arise revolution 
within revolution, reform within reform, all nominally sub- 
servient to the great original and organic principles pre- 
viously indicated, and constantly, in the resultant of these 
forces, bearing these principles to full and complete tri- 
umph and realization. Thus revolution advances on to 
its full accomplishment ofttimes like a tornado, with a 
rotation within itself, which, though through part of the 
circle it seems adverse to the general direction of the 
storm, and tending to arrest it, yet is perpetually wheeling 
it on in its great line of movement. Many are unreason- 
ably alarmed or elated, as the case may be, at those revo- 
lutions within and not against revolution. They chronicle 


them as counter-revolutions. The eddy of the rapids is 
to them the affluence of a Niagara or Mississippi. But 
it is all within the great current — part of it and borne on 
with it — a token and method of its force, not a counter- 
tide. . . . 

"The French Revolution of 1789, for instance, estab- 
lished itself for perpetuity in the abrogation of the no- 
blesse and the new distribution of landed estates through 
the kingdom. The reaction against it, which produced 
the empire of the First Napoleon, could not restore the 
France of Louis XIV ; nor could the revolution, again, 
that reenthroned the Bourbons, bring back that of Louis 
XV. Nor was the second Napoleonic empire, rising on 
the second fall of the old monarchy, a reprint of the first; 
nor was it at the same standpoint of political order or of 
ideas. There had been movement never to be retraversed. 
The new order of things had become the order of life and 
civilization of France. So the restoration of Charles the 
Second could not bring again the era of the first Charles, 
or the Tudors. Nor could the ascendancy of Toryism in 
England, after the accession of William of Orange, rein- 
state the regime of the Stuarts. They had been left 
behind forever by the politics and the civilization of 

" But, though revolutions may not be turned back, they 
may be switched off from the legitimate track, to the 
ruin or disaster of states. It ever exceedingly imports 
those implicated in the struggles of reform or revolution 
to see to it that the forces be not thrown off their proper 
aim, and swayed to ends which are extreme and ruinous. 
So those forces which were generators or factors of our 
recent vast reform (or shall we call it revolution ?) are to 
guard lest, on the one hand, they be cheated of their true 
aim and the rightful prize of the victory achieved at such 


terrible cost ; or, on the other, be misdirected and wrought 
to purposes alien or extreme and pernicious. The move- 
ment, unless guarded, may be baffled, or may bear to ruin. 
But the reform or revolution, whichever we may term it, 
may never be reversed, more than the course of the world. 
It has already created interests, relations, situations, ideas, 
that render reversal impossible. It has already wrought 
itself into the elements of our population, and all the 
tissues of the body of the state and of society. It has 
become a part of the life of the commonwealth. Those 
looking to the restoration of the old status might as well 
expect the return of feudalism or the age of the Plan- 
tagenets. They are dupes of a hopeless illusion. Their 
cynosure is sinking forever behind the waters of the past." 

From a contribution headed " The Present Political 
Relaxation — Its Causes," is the following : — 

..." Among the causes found in our common human- 
ity is its liability to weariness of any high or intense mood 
of the emotions or the will. Reform is always an effort, 
often a paroxysm. It is a sudden spasm, or a protracted 
agonism against difficulties and hostilities certain to be 
encountered from some form of our human selfishness or 
from the vested right or wrongs which it assails. Re- 
forms provoke the resentment of the disturbed ideas, 
order or interest, of society. They require an abnormal 
putting forth of strength, liable to be followed by exhaus- 
tion. Indifferency and relaxation are wont to succeed the 
strain of extraordinary passion and purpose. The same 
law holds in regard to all great and intense convulsions 
and struggles of society ; especially such as the strife for 
national life in the conflict of arms through which we 
have just passed. The extraordinary excitement and 
exaltation of the public mind in such crises may for a 
time lift the masses to a loftiness of heroic doing, daring 



and suffering. But they cannot, certainly with the pres- 
ent average character of humanity, be permanently held 
at that height. That condition is abnormal, above their 
ordinary range of life and passion. There must follow a 
remission, and society will slide down from this elevation 
to its ordinary level. 

" It is a sad truth that men, for the most part, are not 
heroes or martyrs. From the extraordinary tension requi- 
site to act the part of such, they must in time relax from 
sheer exhaustion ; and they will either lapse into languor 
or indifferentism, or will drift back into the old selfish 
and sordid current. 

"Another explanation of this and of similar tendencies 
to counter-reforms, generally, is found in the fact that 
principles and issues that at first startle nations as with 
the blast of a war trumpet lose in time much of their 
power to wake enthusiasm. With the loss of novelty 
they become staled, and the same passions no longer 
respond to them ; the public mind grows in a measure 
insensible to them. It is a law of nature. History ex- 
hibits nothing grander than the national uprising at the 
call of arms for the country at the beginning of the war. 
That spectacle could not be repeated. The mind of the 
nation hardened and grew intenser in its resolve towards 
the close of the war ; but that magnificent enthusiasm 
could not be recalled on the same issues. 

" But in all such cases the intermission of sensibility 
is temporary. If the original issues were wise and 
worthy, they will in time return to the domination of the 
public mind, with a power more strong, profound, intelli- 
gent, and enduring than before ; and they will pass from 
a passion or enthusiasm to become the habit and order 
of national thought and life. The principles in the name 
of which our recent ereat battle was fou<rht and won we 


believe are true and eternal and must in time thoroughly 
dominate the public reason and conscience and establish 
their rule in permanent institutions." 

A paper entitled " Tendencies to Reaction " has this 
passage : — 

"The great party that has heroically and triumphantly 
upborne the nation through the awful agonism of our 
civil war is manifestly in peril. Its life has been a grand 
one. It has not always been guided by the most profound 
sagacity. It has not been uniformly wise in policy or 
brilliant in action. It has not always foreseen events, 
or comprehended situations, or been conscious of the full 
import of principles. It has often been borne on by 
events contrary to its own thought or will. Its wisdom 
has come often from defeat. Disaster has scourged it to 
the right. Necessity has wrought it to grandeur of prin- 
ciple and action. A hand mightier than man's has upheld 
it against its own weaknesses and follies, and has used 
its very plasticity of policy and principle to the accom- 
plishment of its destined end. 

" Still it has, on the whole, done its work grandly. Its 
daring, its sacrifice, its resolve, endurance and achieve- 
ment, will ever rank among the heroic things in the most 
heroic ages. From out a struggle among the most des- 
perate and tremendous in human story it has borne itself 
a victor. History will read its record forever. It may 
die, but its cause — and this is one of the grandest facts 
of its achievement — its cause will not die with it, but 
is allied with essences imperial and imperishable, the im- 
mortal ideal forces of the world, that will go to the grave 
with no party. 

" It is not so much indeed the party that has borne up 
the cause as the cause that has borne up the party. Nor 



do we believe the victory will be lost if the victor falls. 
Indeed, history is full of examples of victorious parties 
not only perishing apart from the causes they have cham- 
pioned, as the scaffolding falls from the structure when 
completed, but perishing by the very principles they have 
vindicated to immortality — like the builders of the pyra- 
mids, buried around the base of the everduring pile they 
reared. . . . 

" The masses are wont, to a great extent, to see and 
feel chiefly in the present and the immediate. In the 
wound they see the surgeon's knife only ; they forget the 
cancer. The annoyances, offenses, losses, imposts and 
distresses, that come of necessity from the resistance of 
a nation against its own attempted assassination they 
charge to the resistance, not to the assassins, and they 
come at length to regard the principles that wrought us 
to that resistance with indifference and weariness, if 
not with disgust and resentment. By God's outstretched 
arm they have been delivered, have been led triumphant 
through the sanguinary gulf of revolution, and for the 
hour have taken up the exult of Miriam. But still they 
are in the wilderness, sore bested it may be with hunger 
and weariness, and the land of promise is afar. And now 
memory pictures to them the fleshpots of their house of 
bondage. But between them and it the Red Sea rolls. 
They may not return ; but they cry against their deliv- 
erer, 'Who is this Moses that has led us forth into the 
desert to perish ?' 

" Great principles cannot triumph in perpetuity by 
mere shock of arms. They must be wrought into the 
national soul through suffering. In the very nature of 
moral victories for a great cause, a people must not only 
dare, but greatly bear. But a Saviour who brings not 
peace, but a sword, and saves not even by the sword 


alone, but through the very painfulness of the wounds — 
in such a Saviour they are offended, and often rush from 
1 hosannas ' to the clamor of ' Crucify him ! ' 

" Thus the heroism that has grandly triumphed in the 
sharp paroxysm of battle often weakly succumbs in the 
hospital ; and nations in revolution that have borne them- 
selves grandly through the conflict of force, in suffering 
the wounds of victory turn with resentment on the cause 
that has for the time exalted them above themselves. 
Old selfishness and meannesses return ; old lusts, with 
exasperated fierceness ; old habitudes, with stronger des- 
potisms. Seven devils, worse than the first one that has 
been for the hour exorcised by a spasm of public virtue, 

" Especially will such reactionary tendencies develop 
themselves under the pressure of a vast public debt, be- 
queathed by the victorious reform, and necessitating heavy 
and universal taxation. Such a tax is the fiercest test of 
public patriotism. It presses on the entire life of a people 
like a bad atmosphere, producing a universal sense of 
disorder, uneasiness, discomfort, embarrassment and dis- 
tress. It is a universal irritant. Everybody feels the 
plague. Few refer it to the true cause, or bear it as the 
ransom of national life. Something they feel is wrong ; 
something annoys and oppresses them. Almost any 
change is welcomed, as presenting a possibility of relief. 
Even old enemies are eagerly listened to, coming with 
such promise. The perjury and treason of the past are 
forgot ; accusations against the existing administration 
and the dominant party are welcomed. Discomfort breeds 
discontent ; discontent grows to disaffection ; and dis- 
affection is exasperated to counter-revolution. Especially 
does this take place if the malcontents can point to prof- 
ligacy, corruption and fraud, in the administration or its 


functionaries, aggravating the public burthen, and the 
reactionists can triumph in the name of economic reform. 

"A tax is the mightiest lever of revolution. The tax- 
gatherer has wrought to national uprising more potently 
than the inquisitor or the military or judicial executioner, 
more than the Alvas, or Jeffreys, or the autos-da-fe. 
Crimes of the sword or brand, or of judicial or ecclesias- 
tic murder, touch generally the class, or few only. The 
tax hits, alarms, irritates the people. It was a tax that 
at last rallied sluggish England to the championship of 
Hampden, and the Parliament against the Stuarts. It 
was a tax that drove the Netherlands to insurrection 
against Philip II, when the stake, the block, conflagration, 
and massacre seemed unable to rouse them. A tax broke 
the iron wall of the old Roman Empire. It was taxation 
that, after ages of pressure, under crimes of tyranny un- 
speakably loathsome and atrocious, at last recoiled to the 
overthrow of the Bourbons. The American Revolution 
rose against a tax. Throughout the history of the past 
the tax has been the most potent factor of political 
change, whether of dynasties or administrations. And 
it is undoubtedly among the profoundest and most uni- 
versal of reactionary forces now at work through this 

" A widespread feeling of permanent embarrassment 
and distress, with a fear of change paralyzing or perplex- 
ing trade, is likely to breed, with multitudes, not only a 
feeling of indifferency or resentment towards the cause 
and principles in vindication of which our debt was in- 
curred, but also a blind impulse towards political change, 
in the illusory idea that shifting the party will be the 
shifting of the burthen. The party in power must guard 
against this tendency; must aim at the lightening of the 
public burthens ; must endeavor to do it for the sake of 


the very cause for which those burthens were assumed. 
For nothing is more certain than that, without such re- 
lief, we are on the eve of a disastrous political reaction. 
Safety of the cause requires that we should promptly 
reduce taxation to the lowest figure compatible with the 
maintenance of the public credit." 

The last extract here quoted is from an article entitled 
"Brevity of Party Ascendancy in Democracies" : — 

"Beyond the legitimate scope of its principles, 
there ever hangs on the skirts of revolution an extreme 
'left' — the Terrorists, the party of ruin. The nation is 
either dragged by them down the red gulf, or it breaks 
from them and the revolution at the same time, as from 
fiends pushing to the abyss. On the other hand, refus- 
ing to carry out its principles, the party of revolution or 
reform perishes by a logical inconsequence. It falls on 
the sword of its own creed. Attempting to stop in its 
career, it finds it has invoked forces that will impel it 
onward or explode it to fragments. 

"Again, the compress of outward danger being re- 
moved, the tension of battle relaxed, the grasp on the 
great central principle becomes enfeebled, and side issues 
break in. Factions of all ideas aim to graft themselves 
on the great movement, and to dominate it. Failing in 
this, they fly off in segments ; or, succeeding, they change 
the original party, till, attenuate, dislimned, deformed — 
itself no longer the same — it ceases to rally the same 
elements around it. Its call has lost its potency. It 
perishes of inanition or fever ; of abandonment or inter- 
nal oppugnancies. So, from the nature of democracies, 
party domination in them is brief. 

" It is better thus. Parties usually live long enough. 
Their euthanasia follows when their principles have been 


universally accepted and incorporated with the national 
life. They die into nationality. Their function is ended. 
Beyond that they survive only in a proper name, a name 
which is no longer a symbol of peculiar distinctive prin- 
ciples, but merely the term of comprehension for indi- 
vidual ambitions, which, under the shadow of a great 
name, scheme for personal ends, for place and money 
and power. But parties may perish untimely, leaving 
their work unfinished, to be committed over to alien or 
hostile hands, interested to thwart or pervert it. The 
hour of their power, then, is most precious according to 
the greatness of their work. Opportunity comes like 
the sibyl, with its volume of proffered possibilities con- 
stantly diminishing. Its brevity demands a prompt use, 
a wise dispatch, with urgency proportioned to the vastness 
of interests to be served during the term." 



Address before the State Officers and Legislature at Springfield, 111., on 
" History as a Teacher of Social and Political Science." 

IN response to an invitation from the governor of 
Illinois and the state officers and members of the 
Constitutional Convention then assembled at Springfield, 
a lecture was delivered there by Dr. Post, February 16, 
1870, on "History as a Teacher of Social and Political 
Science." The topic was one with which Dr. Post was 
peculiarly at home, and it embodied results derived from 
his reading and thinking for nearly forty years. 

By special request, the address was given to the public 
in pamphlet form, with an introduction from the pen of 
Dr. Newton Bateman, then superintendent of the Illinois 
State Board of Education, and already mentioned as a 
pupil of Dr. Post in the early college days in Jacksonville. 
In this note Dr. Bateman says : — . 

" It was generally known that Dr. Post had studied the 
philosophy, methods and uses, of history and historical 
research ; that he regarded a knowledge of the teachings 
and warnings of history as eminently useful and neces- 
sary, especially for American statesmen and scholars ; 
and that his reputation as a lecturer upon those and 
kindred themes was acknowledged and pronounced 
throughout the west. The occasion of revising and 
reconstructing the organic law of a great commonwealth 
seemed especially appropriate for a discourse by such a 
man upon such a subject. The audience would be largely 
composed of the distinguished gentlemen who were then 



in council, from every part of the state, for the purpose 
of laying anew the foundations of civil government in 
Illinois ; and it would be meet, it was thought, that the 
light and lessons of history should be held up to view of 
those who were themselves making history. 

" How grandly and graphically this was done the lec- 
ture itself will show. For sublimity of conception, range 
and sweep of survey, dynamic grasp and compression 
of diverse, elusive and gigantic materials, elements and 
ideas, for marvelous power of statement, illustration and 
coloring, and befitting magnificence of diction and splen- 
dor of rhetoric, this address will captivate every student, 
not only of history, but of the English language itself. 

" Did ever chemist manipulate more easily the tiniest 
objects and substances in his laboratory, extorting their 
subtlest secrets and making them eloquent of the arcana 
of God in nature, than this address deals with ages and 
empires and civilizations, with ethnic and continental and 
cosmical facts, events, ideas, laws — forcing them all to 
testify of the presence and regency of God in history? 
Where in modern literature is there an ideal portrait so 
perfect, so grand and luminous, so palpably distinguish- 
able, and yet so exquisitely veiled from nearer view — so 
transfigured, exalted and glorified by poetic and spiritual 
environments, by the golden haze, the translucent mists 
through which it is revealed, as that here given of him 
whose dust reposes beneath the shades of Oak Ridge ? 
And for awful majesty and grandeur, upon what canvas 
did artist-author ever dash historic colors with a vividness 
so dramatic and terrible as those which glow and glare 
and flash from the picture here drawn of the 'crimson 
tempest,' whose sullen echoes have hardly yet died away 
along our shores ? 

"But let the lecture be read; it cannot be described." 



This lecture covers certain leading thoughts which are 
also to be found in the Palingenesy, and, like that paper, 
was prepared with more immediate reference to certain 
great social and political problems of the country. Its 
thoughts were suggested in view of "the genesis and 
organization of states imperial in extent and in the gran- 
deur of their future " ; in view of the " problem of univer- 
sal popular liberty"; in view of "the federation of the 
states" and "the blending through our vast domain of a 
metropolitan with a colonial civilization " ; and finally in 
view of the problem of " the coalescence into one national 
life of many kindreds, languages and civilizations." 

The following are extracts from the discourse. 

..." Myriads — soon destined to be counted by mil- 
lions, annually brought to our shores over both oceans 
— are constantly incorporated with the body of our empire. 
We are becoming a medley of all customs, manners, dia- 
lects, religions, civilizations and barbarisms, under the 
sun. The vast caldron, seething with these ingredients, 
must soon show some strange form of beauty or terror, 
something angelic or demoniac, emergent — a cosmopoli- 
tan civilization beyond all the past, or a power of ruin with 
no prototype. We surely build a Pandemonium or a New 

" For these problems history must be our directory ; 
for history alone, wrought to a wise philosophy, must 
instruct us in the science requisite to their solution — 
namely, Sociology, or the Science of Society ; the science 
of its nature, laws and tendencies : its moods, impulses, 
passions ; its clangers, plagues and safeguards ; its pa- 
thology and therapeutics ; its factors of liberty, order and 
life, or of dissolution and death ; that which Plato, in his 
Republic, places as the chief and summary of all sciences. 
It treats of the millions, their life and action, of institu- 



tions, of great and permanent causes, of eras, nations, 
civilizations ; in brief, of humanity itself. It is the ulti- 
mate coronal lore of the centuries. 

"The necessity of it is pressing imperatively on the 
world ; eminently so, at this present, as the million — the 
democracy — is clearly seen rising to the sphere of power; 
a rise, which, regard it as we may, as a hope or a horror, 
as devilish or divine, is recognized by publicists throughout 
the world as moving on with the certainty of a decree of 
God. The science of this new sovereignty is now, there- 
fore, to the nations, and especially to our own, the riddle 
of the sphinx which we are to read or die. Of this 
science history is teacher, as history is properly the 
biography of society, of nations, of civilizations, and of 
political and social systems. This is its import in common 
parlance used absolutely and without qualification — a 
paradigm of the fortunes of humanity, of that common- 
wealth of commonwealths of which different ages, peoples, 
and sections are but segments, and which we are wont to 
term 'society.' The drama of humanity with its scenery 
and personnel, its passion, achievements, failures, suc- 
cesses — it is the great thesaurus of the materials, 
instances, and proofs for any science of it. 

" Apart from history there is no field for induction ; the 
past is mute; it has wrought through the centuries in 
vain : and the nations must still wander and stumble on 
in hopeless, helpless bewilderment and empiricism. This, 
as we have faith in a divine Reason regent in affairs, we 
do not, we can not, receive ; not that history properly ever 
repeats itself, or that the future is destined to be a coun- 
terpart of the past. The life of society may be circular, 
but its circle is a spiral. It climbs as it winds. Its move- 
ment may be rotary, but with the rotation not of the mill 
but of the chariot wheel. It advances as it revolves. 


" But though history does not repeat itself, humanity 
does, and the great factors of its science — God, man, 
and nature — are the same ; the same now as in the days 
of the Caesars and the Pharaohs. The voyage of human- 
ity may now be with new ships, crews, machinery and 
motive power, and through new seas ; but the great forces 
of nature, of earth, air and flood, the indications of the 
compass and the barometer and the signs of the heavens 
are the same : the same tokens of the shoal and breaker, 
gale or tempest, of nearing the belt of calms or the storm 
circle, the region of the regular trade winds or the sultry 
atmosphere of the cyclone or typhoon. With whatever 
change of position, development, or environment, of cul- 
ture or faith, the chief elements in the social problem still 
present adequate analogies for an inductive and practical 

" Taught by recorded experiences we may recognize the 
approach of critical periods and vital perils, and feel 
the tempest of revolution and changes in the air, or the 
coming storm in tidal pulses of the social deeps. . . . 

" For the materials of a social science, history is a 
reliable witness. Many are wont to deride it as only the 
dullest fiction — fiction without its romance. Rightly, 
often, especially if respect be had to minutiae, details, per- 
sonalities. But social science is one of averages ; the stabil- 
ity of its induction and deduction depending on the breadth 
of its survey. Its lessons are of generalities and aggre- 
gates, truest of the largest : of millions and ages, of laws 
embracing long periods and large multitudes, and vast and 
permanent causes. These may present moral certainties, 
while doubts wait around individual facts and instances. 
Nothing may be more uncertain than what certain individ- 
uals, A, B, or C, may have done or may do ; when, at the 
same time, nothing may be more assured than what the 



masses or eras to which they belong may have done or 
will do. Statistics show a wonderful uniformity of action 
in large averages, and that in things most abnormal and 
capricious, most bizarre and almost irrational. . . . 

" Social science inquires especially after the vast, uni- 
versal, immortal, mental forces that we term technically 
ideas, denoting certain essential and inextinguishable 
elements of the human consciousness which cannot 
perish apart from mind itself ; sentiments that attach to 
us as men, and belong to the definition of our moral 
being; such as those of rights of liberty of person, prop- 
erty, thought, truth and worship ; elements and creators 
of civil, intellectual and religious, freedom. These con- 
stitute the great demiurgic forces of the world — the im- 
mortal Titans, that no ^Etnas of proscriptive despotism 
or hoar wrongs can smother, nor all the bayonets beneath 
the sun can perpetually beat down. 

" These great, permanent, indestructible and ultimate, 
irrepressible social factors are recognized as the chief 
objects of the historic quest and philosophy, and the chief 
elements of sociology. They are becoming of mightier 
power and significancy perpetually, as the world is passing 
more and more from the realms of force into those of 
general ideas. Thrones and bayonets are not, even at 
this present, sovereigns in the world. They themselves 
already recognize an awful sovereignty above them — the 
one universal public opinion into which these ideas culmi- 
nate — the supreme Law and Lord of mankind. . . . 

" But ideas are to be sought through facts. The proper 
treatment of facts — their verification and interpretation — 
becomes a capital question in a historical method in quest 
of social science. . . . We cannot build on myth, poetic 
fancies, or panegyric embellishments, more than on direct 
falsification." . . . 


A "record of facts " should be "causative, consecutive 
and complete." And the student should inquire, "Is it 
causative ? Does it truly develop cause, effect, antecedent, 
and consequent ? A fact out of causative relation admits 
of no philosophy, furnishes no elements of science. An 
isolated character from the Chinese alphabet, a pebble 
from the Parthenon, teaches me nothing. 

" Again, is it consecutive ? presenting things in the 
order of their happening, the order of organic growth and 
development, or is it a medley, a congeries, the disjecta 
membra of history, annals, or chronological tables ? Moun- 
tains of rubbish can make no St. Peter's ; a thousand 
kaleidoscopes, no picture. 

" Again, is it complete ? Not absolutely indeed. That 
were impossible. No finite intelligence were adequate to 
the entire relations of any fact. All facts belong to the 
infinite, are parts of a boundless web, links in an endless 
chain. All truths reach through one unity, which God 
alone can measure. Still, facts have a measurable com- 
pleteness, a synoptical lifetime. Your history must be 
more than excerpts, memoirs, memorabilia ; it ought cer- 
tainly to aim at the completeness requisite to develop the 
generic and organic idea. . . . 

" Your facts being assured, the next question of historic 
method is that of interpretation — how to extract their 
import. A veritable fact, then, being before you, make it 
speak ; make it utter all its contents, all its implications. 
Put it upon the rack ; torture it. Compel it to disclose 
its cause, consequence, concomitants ; its essence, its idea 
— whence? why? how? whither? Search it as with the 
analysis of the compound blow-pipe. Hold it steadfast in 
the focus of the mental ray, till that which was before 
dark, dumb, dead, lives, glows, kindles, flames, unfolds 
itself — flashes into interrelation and correlation, and the 



irradiation of its sphere. Then apply to the elements pre- 
sented by your analysis a rigorous induction of laws, and 
then, from the results of your induction, construct philo- 
sophical principles and practical lessons. . . . 

" A historic method, again, that seeks a social science, 
requires a wide-seeing and discriminating eclecticism. 
First, out of the vast expanse of universal history we must 
select fields most fertile of material for social science — 
peoples, countries, races, eras, richest in facts, examples, 
principles, ideas. Some fields are too mythical, others too 
barren of memorial or example ; some present nations 
prisoned and smothered by despotisms — vast cycles tell you 
nothing ; they are dreary, silent, dead. Richest elaborators 
of social science are the histories that bring the millions 
much into view, and in their own culminating and climac- 
teric periods of culture and liberty ; as, for example, that of 
the classic nations of antiquity, or of those with liberal 
institutions in the modern world. An hour with Pericles 
were worth ages with the Pharaohs ; a day in Europe, a 
' cycle of Cathay.' 

"Again, in fields thus selected our method requires 
subselection of times and topics on the same principle 
and of compartment within compartment. 

"Again, to the fields selected there must be applied 
what is called in art, grouping and relief. To some per- 
sons history seems one boundless uniform plain — all objects 
alike in value. They read with equal emphasis, ' Adam, 
Seth, Enoch,' of the genealogies, and ' In the beginning 
God created the heavens and the earth ' ; and intone 'and 
the snuffers were of pure gold' with the same solemnity 
as 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.' 

" But history is not a dead level, nor are all its objects 
alike in prominence or relation. It must be treated accord- 
ingly. Some objects must be set in strong light, others 


in shadow ; some made conspicuous, others obscure ; some 
placed in front, others in the background ; some strongly 
individualized, others less so. Here the landscape will 
rise into mountains, there droop into vales. Some objects 
must be central and chief, others auxiliary and incidental ; 
and this not only for artistic effect, but for truth's sake 
and for knowledge. . . . 

" Central objects especially prominent and significant in 
this grouping and relief, and which require especial study, 
I call historical exponents. They are representative ob- 
jects, class facts, organic and historic forces. They are as 
mountain-tops with wide outlook, before, after, and around ; 
peaks shining over wildernesses ; lighthouses illuminating 
nightly seas. They are representative of causes or effects, 
antecedents or consequents, of relation and environment; 
are exponential of vast social laws and forces." 

Among such exponents the lecturer designated physical 
geography, laws, language, genius, — ethnic or individual, 
— commerce, finance, institutions and politics, decisive 
battles, and social and political convulsions. 

Such convulsions " are usually the pitched battles of 
ideas, the culmination of movements long in process, the 
collision of antagonistic organic forces, cataclysms between 
different orders in political cosmogony. They are pro- 
found revelations, showing us humanity in its capacity 
of grandeur or guilt ; earthquake epochs, tearing open 
abysses beneath the smooth superficies of our civilization, 
and under the brilliant show disclosing magazines of 
wrath and the volcanic heart-throb of ages of wrong, 
hate and woe ; the upheavals of mighty and immortal 
ideas in dark and lurid deeps, where Phlegethon rolls its 
fiery waves, and ghastly Cocytus sighs and shrieks ever- 
more underneath landscapes of smiling prosperities and 
' fields of the cloth of gold ' ; and where the millions in 



their Titanic agony are lifting under old worlds and 
wrestling with night. They are solemn Nemeses often — 
the fifth act in long dramas of crime where the Eumeni- 
des of hoary wrongs hound clown guilty nations and 
wreak the catastrophe ; days of wrath, when the Babylons 
and Tyres, the Romes and Parises and Londons of the 
world, with their pomp and power and pride and pleas- 
ure, their shams and shames, 'go down quick into hell.' 

" They too are demiurgic and inaugurative epochs, 
where different cycles touch and new orders are born. 
They are challengers of the deeps. They call up the 
Titans lying on the nether floods. They bring new ideas, 
forms and forces, to the regency of affairs. It is well 
carefully to note them as paradigms of social pathology, 
as well as epiphanies of divine rule in the affairs of the 

" Of such national agonies, one, the hour admonishes, 
presses onus for closer inspection — one which history 
will gaze on forever. The land where we tread still feels 
the shock and tremor of the earthquake. The earth has 
yawned beneath our feet, and disclosed the deeps. But 
too near is that gulf which has opened for narrow scru- 
tiny, and our eyes too dimmed with tears. We cannot 
look clearly down it, for that a mighty host of our loved 
and bravest, our sons, our fathers, our brothers, lie there, 
forever cut off from the light of the sun. The thunder- 
cloud, too, yet wanders over it, and the echo of the bolts 
is still sounding through the deeps. We cannot yet dis- 
tinctly take the gauge and dimensions of things. But 
some things are clearly disclosed. The lessons enunci- 
ated, some of them are patent to all the world. 

"And first, the sovereign force of moral ideas in his- 
tory; it is the explosive upheaval of such ideas against a 
system of wrongs ponderous with the weight <>l an empire, 


that has sprung the abyss beneath our wondrous prosper- 
ity, and caused the cry of our agony and ruin to be heard 
through the coasts of all the earth. 

'• Moral ideas, by the shallow philosophy of Buckle and 
his school, divorced from the category of appreciable his- 
toric forces, are demonstrated to be the mightiest of things 
beneath God's throne. Right and truth are shown to be 
imperial powers, armed with a divine prerogative and the 
strength of a decree of God ; wrought in the heart of 
nations to a living sentiment, they are not to be perma- 
nently stifled or repressed : sooner will they turn this 
broad world over. Woe to the people that essays to 
smother them ! They champion omnipotence. 

" Again, our great tragedy shows that the great per- 
sonal forces of history are moral more than intellectual ; 
that the personal influences most sovereign in it are those 
of moral quality and character. Persons that are ideal- 
ized, that is, that are transfigured in the world's thought 
so that they become representatives of an idea potent in 
shaping and directing history, are thus transfigured by the 
opinion of moral goodness attaching to them. 

"This idealization of persons, of characters, is heaven's 
means of husbanding the moral excellences of the past, 
and of enthroning moral grandeur and beauty over his- 
tory. We have had occasion to see how these idealiza- 
tions are created, and how God hangs the historic sky 
with stars to illuminate and guide, ennoble and vitalize 
the course of humanity. He peoples the historic Pan- 
theon, not so much with intellect as with souls ; less with 
geniuses than virtues. It is goodness and truth — con- 
crete and impersonate, it may be in vulgar human mold, 
set in homely environment and girt with incongruous inves- 
ture ; it is the qualities of soul, that have power to trans- 
figure the gross and earthy embodiment into a power and 


a glory, a light and a life to the nations. Persons change 
to principles ; the material to the spiritual — to virtues 
impersonate — to living ideas. The corporeal type fades 
out ; there is a vanishing of the idiosyncrasy and the per- 
sonnel, an elimination of the local and temporary, the 
accidental and incongruous. Everything works to a spir- 
itual unity — to a single essence — to the pure idea. 
Such, at last, is its aspect toward the world. So the 
ideal is born of the real ; but of the real sublimated, 
clarified, etherealized, transfigured, and upborne to the 
empyrean. Men become the embodiment of an idea, and 
that idea becomes their apotheosis. Their face becomes 
the face of a truth. Time bleaches it of stain and defea- 
ture, of the impure and the alloy. Their defects fall 
away with the years — and time, which clarifies, uplifts. 
They are stars shining as they rise, dimly through the 
earth fogs and smokes, and liable to be mistaken for the 
city lamps with which they blend, but starting with 
the earth's roll from the street lights to the zodiac and 
the zenith. . . . 

" An awful presence wanders by noon and night around 
the grave at Oak Ridge. But its representative orb shines 
over that tomb, higher than the Pleiades — evermore. 
To that, the muse of history will point down coming time, 
as asserting for heroic loyalty to God, country and human- 
ity, walking according to the light God gave, and for a 
simple, childlike honesty, that carried this loyalty into the 
most mighty and awful issues of human history, and in 
its high mission, steadfast to the last, ' in charity to all, in 
malice to none,' gave up life itself for duty, — I say the 
muse of history will point to that example, as asserting 
for such honesty and loyalty of soul an essential and 
immortal kingliness, that — apart from brilliancy of genius 
or culture, despite of imperfection and defeature, per- 


sonal or mental — in despite, if so be, of weakness, or 
mistake in logic or policy — claims a perpetual scepter 
and crown in the historic realm. . . . 

" It may startle us to think of one of late so near and 
now so far — one long beside us in the common and famil- 
iar walks of life, of no regal guise, presence or culture, 
throned so high amid the perpetual kings. But the ideali- 
zation and translation are in progress, not so much from 
any qualities of intellect or masterliness of policy or 
measures, as from the moral majesty of truth, the 
beauty and grandeur of a soul honest to its very 
core and to the very death. And by force of these it 
requires no prophet to assure us, spite of whatever in- 
congruity or defeature — idiosyncratic or personal — that 
face and form, transfigured by the idea of the indwelling 
virtue, will shine forth in the skies of the future more 
glorious than the Belvederean god of light — shine forth 
as the face of a truth, a virtue, a divine idea impersonate. 
"This was foretokened in that funeral heralding that 
draped belts of latitude and longitude and successive 
states in mourning over the martyr, yet victor, on his 
great return. Never had a conqueror in the past such a 
cortege and following. And when,- pale, silent, and 
marred, that form thus came back from the war, and 
lay in state in yonder capitol, the transfiguration had 
already begun. History and death had touched that 
face to an awe and majesty that seemed no longer of 
the sons of men. On that brow the assassin's mark 
was already changing to the aureola, — to the glory, — 
and from the mute lips the words, ' In charity to all, in 
malice toward none,' and ' For these I am willing to die ' 
seemed mingling with the hymn of history down the 
aisles of all the future. 

"That face, thus transfigured to that of the Moral 


Sublime, to a virtue already on high, will be seen by 
the idea of heroic goodness inhering, upborne higher 
and higher over the future, when the surge of our great 
tragedy shall have sunk behind the horizon, above its 
war-scenery, its masses of force, its blazon of mighty 
names, latest of its historic constellations — like Cassio- 
peia's throne in the circumpolar skies, in the circle of 
perpetual apparition ; rising and falling, it may be, with 
the earth's roll, but to set nevermore." 

Following this passage is commemorative mention as 
among the personal moral forces in the early history of 
Illinois of Duncan, Hardin, Baker, Blackburn, Wolcott, 
Tillson, Lippencott, Douglas, and Godfrey: — 

. . . "Another — from a grave not far from his, a form 
dabbled in blood — comes from the heights of Alton, 
known to fame as a proto-martyr in the moral and polit- 
ical battle of half a century — his blood among the first 
drops of what a crimson tempest ! Beside him appears 
that brother that caught the fallen flag from his dying 
hand, — its folds all purple with a brother's blood, — and 
bore it on, his clarion voice summoning the sons of 
Illinois and those loyal to freedom and country, through 
the land, on to battles and to victory." 

The address closes a9 follows : — 

"These, and others whose names are part of the land's 
language, but of whom I may not speak, — for that God still 
gives them to us, — who have wrought in their day, greatly, 
wisely, bravely or lovingly, for Illinois, have made its early 
history already signal and illustrious — often grand. What 
its future may be, who shall limit, if that future is true to 
its past ? 

"A state which in 1833 I found an infant in swaddling 
bands, cradled in the green wilderness, and which I have 
since seen, at the call of its noble governor, — then a 


gifted, great-souled boy in college, — rushing to the rescue 
of fatherland with an army of 150,000 men, under the 
gallant leadership of its own sons ; a state which in public 
schools organized and systemized under the able admin- 
istration of its wise and large-minded superintendent, 
to whom I was then imparting the rudiments of culture 
under the shadows of the wild woods, whom I loved then 
as a child, and whom I now love and honor as a man ; a 
state which now presents, in its public schools, an army 
vaster in number and in elements of power than that 
which Napoleon led against Moscow, — a state which 
exhibits such promise in the morning of youth — what 
may we not hope from its manhood ? 

" What that future shall be will be determined mainly 
by the moral ideas which shall be regent in it ; indeed 
largely by the moral sentiment of some now before me, 
to whom, honored with highest position, — judicial, legisla- 
tive, and administrative, — or sitting in constitutional con- 
vention, this grand young state now commits itself. For 
through sentiments of this order, — those of truth, honor 
and piety, — more than through intellectual brilliancy of 
forecast, rises the life of states. Great ideas make men 
and states great. These are ultimately the mightiest and 
profoundest of historic factors — those which God espe- 
cially husbands and utilizes through idealization, as benefi- 
cent powers for the history of man. 

"A divine reason and economy seem thus to unite all the 
past to all the future, showing one moral rule through all. 
Under the one God history becomes one. With God 
recognized as historic factor all things have a vaster rela- 
tion and significancy. We come to a new order of his- 
torical exponents. Exponential values become infinite ; 
exponential forces strike the circle of the everlasting. 
All the past becomes exponent of all the future. On 


time is everywhere the signature of eternity ; over the 
inchoate and imperfect, the prophecy of consummation. 
Lost ages are not lost. None of the wise, the good, the 
true, have lived in vain. Our baffled and broken works 
and lives are outreaches toward the perfect and immortal. 
Time's broken chainwork links at last to God's throne. Its 
shreds are wrought to a divine warp and woof in the vast 
loom of Providence. Cycles dark and baffled marshal to the 
coronal outcome — a veritable kingdom of God on earth. 
"The mighty grave itself, where the good, the beautiful, 
the wise, and the brave have age after age gone down 
into night, becomes as the portal of a setting sun — 
vistaed with mountains of chrysolite, amethystine cities, 
the forms of glorious seraphim and angel pennons stream- 
ing through the sapphire, marshaling to a morn beyond 
the sunset. So our earthly landscape, not only with the 
spires of all its temples, but with the shafts of all its 
tombs, seems thick with index fingers pointing upward to 
the eternal and the divine — the descending City of Light; 
the coronal, historic order ; the New Jerusalem." 



Address in Chicago, at the 250th Anniversary of the Landing of the Pilgrims, 
on " The Occasion and the Situation." 

ON April 28, 1870, the memorial convention, celebrat- 
ing the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the 
landing of the Pilgrims, was begun at Farwell Hall in 
Chicago. The " Round Table " of The Congregational 
Review for July following said : " It was a rare assembly. 
New Orleans, San Francisco, and Honolulu shook hands 
in Chicago with Bangor and Boston and New York. Five 
hundred and fifty-five delegates registered their names, and 
many more failed to do so. The faculties of five theologi- 
cal seminaries were represented. The presidents of at 
least eight colleges, and officers of all the great benevolent 
societies of the denomination, were present." 

The session of April 29 was begun by an address by 
Dr. Post, published in the same number of the Review, on 
"The Occasion and the Situation," which was somewhat 
in the same general line of thought with the Christmas 
sermon on " The Greatness and Power of Faith as Illus- 
trated by the Pilgrim Fathers." 

A correspondent of The Hartford Courant, in a letter 
from Chicago of the above date, reporting the proceedings 
of the convention and the various addresses, wrote : "The 
main events connected with the jubilee have been the 
addresses of Dr. Bacon, of New Haven, and Dr. Post, of 
St. Louis." Of the discourse of Dr. Post the letter said : 
" He did not enter into history, but showed how at the 
present time the same contest which they [the Pilgrims] 



waged is pending still, the same enemies are pressing on, 
and the same weapons are needed. His language, in 
which he pictured the effeminacy and worldliness of the 
present day, was scathing, and equally sharp and biting 
his denunciation of those who ought to still maintain the 
ideas of their fathers, but who have betrayed them and 
deserted them. The audience was wrought up to a high 
pitch of enthusiasm during the delivery of this address, 
and at the close there were three successive rounds of 
applause. I have never seen such a display since Dickens 
read his Christmas Carol in Boston." 

In opening his address, Dr. Post said : — 

" The invitation extended to me by the esteemed 
committee of arrangements of this convention, to open 
the session of to-day with ' an address of some thirty 
minutes,' did not lead me to anticipate I should be alone 
in the published program of the morning. I had 
supposed I was simply to be an out-skirmisher of a line 
who were to follow with a general fusillade, and am not 
prepared for my solitariness of position, with implied 
expectancy and responsibility. A synopsis, such as would 
seem meet for the occasion of two hundred and fifty years 
of history, interlacing also with the centuries precedent, 
reduced within the limits of a half-hour address, passes 
my power of compression. It were a feat for the Arabian 
magician endeavoring to coerce the escaped genii, whose 
locks were brushing the clouds, back into the phial to be 
borne in the pocket, or for the enchanted tent of the 
Saladin, capable of sheltering an army, yet compressible 
into a lady's reticule. I shall make no such attempt. 
I could not even get the ' gates ajar.' 

"But my task is the less difficult, for the graphic 
and eloquent tribute ' rendered yesterday to the Pilgrim 

1 Address Ijv Dr. Leonard Bacon. 


Fathers, and by the fact that neither they nor their works 
need historical introduction or sketching. Their story is 
before all the world, in pictures and song, and the historic 
pages, blazoned forevermore. Their principles, too, are 
still among the mightiest of living things — triumphant 
with our flag as it floats from ocean to ocean, and quicken- 
ing through the life of modern civilization. The May- 
flower has not finished her voyage. She is still sailing. 
Nor will she fold her sails on mortal shores. That craft 
that some two hundred and fifty years since lay in the 
offing of the new world, history now sees had set her sails 
for eternity, not like the City of Boston, for the silences 
of the underworld ; nor like the phantom ship, to reappear 
in the storm cloud as harbinger of wreck, — but destined to 
illumined seas, and more and more to enter into the uni- 
versal voice and vision of human history as it lapses on to 
the kingdom of our Lord. . . . 

" The occasion is for principles more than men, or, rather, 
is for principles through men ; and that not in the interest 
of section or party, but for principles universal as human- 
ity, catholic as the kingdom of God. Men we idealize, not 
idolize. The Lord of hosts alone we glorify. The graves 
of the fathers are in the right direction. But it is ours 
not to lie down beside them, or to petrify around them, 
but looking the way they looked, to gather some commun- 
ion with their spirit and example for a new Pilgrim's 

"To this intent we idealize, not idolize, men. The 
difference is world-wide, a difference in times and in the 
things themselves. They are separate in times as widely 
as the eras of achievement and panegyric, or of genius and 
commentary. There are ages when grand things are 
done, and when they are eulogized ; when saints are made, 
and when they are canonized ; when martyrs suffer, and 



when men hunt their relics ; when prophets prophesy, 
and when men build their tombs. The passage from the 
former era to the latter is commonly one of degradation ; 
it is the transition from the heroic and martyr spirit to 
the pusillanimous, the selfish and servile ; in a word, from 
idealization to idolatry. These, though often confounded, 
are diametrically opposite. The former quickens with 
spirit, life, principle. In the latter the spirit is smothered ; 
the life in the form, the principle in the apotheosis. 

" Idealization is that process in the world's thought 
whereby men are made representatives of an idea, a prin- 
ciple, or truth impersonate. This is a requisite process in 
the divine economy of history. Its great moral forces are 
personal. A virtue or truth, in order to possess mankind, 
must be presented in the concrete ; acted out in a life, 
either in its general tone or in some signal instance in it. 
When God would save the world he did not blazon the 
skies above it with the ten commandments, but hung over 
it the face of the beautiful and glorious Christ. 

" There is but One in whom the perfect ideal and the 
perfect real are blent. In all others the ideal embraces 
only part of the character and history. The idealization 
is wrought by eliminations, vanishings, oblivions, sublima- 
tions. By leaving out of view for the time some facts or 
qualities, defects, foibles, or inconsistencies, and by con- 
centrating the vision on some illustrious instance or 
characteristic in a given life, the person becomes trans- 
formed to an impersonation of the virtue or truth signalized 
in that instance or characteristic, the face of the pure 
idea. Men become the embodiment of an idea, and that 
idea becomes their transfiguration. Such ideals become 
the great moral motors of history, its vitalizers, illumi- 
nators and cynosures. 

"The stars seen 'through the horizontal misty air' 


seem part of the street lights. The earth rolls, and — fogs 
and smoke and earthly light left below — they glitter in 
the zenith. The Chimborazo that on near view seems 
mingled amidst an equal /Etnaean brotherhood, only as you 
recede starts to its true solitary grandeur in the sky. So 
moral greatness looms in due proportions only as seen 
across the interval of centuries. So colossal statuary 
grows to its true beauty only when lifted on high. 

"We believe that we see and feel the moral attitude of 
the Pilgrim Fathers more truly than did the men of their 
times, and that we legitimately and beneficently contem- 
plate them in their great action and essential characters, 
and in the profoundest import of their life, as ideals, 
impersonations of great truths and principles. 

" This idealization, again, embraces moral rather than 
intellectual grandeur. The historic Pantheon is peopled 
more by great souls than great geniuses. We idealize not 
so much the creed, but rather the manner in which creeds 
are confessed. So, while we honor those men for the 
truths God disclosed to them beyond their age, — disclosed 
in germ and embryo, the full growth by no means yet 
fully discerned, — it is in the confession of them eminently 
that they rise before us in the grandeur and beauty of 
ideals. For the great principles of order and liberty of 
which they were confessors in their day, — the lordship 
of Christ and the brotherhood of man, — and the element- 
ary and organic truths of civil and religious freedom 
derived therefrom ; the inviolableness and supremacy under 
God of the individual conscience, the right of private 
judgment, the autonomy and sufficiency of the local 
church, the equality and sovereignty of the brotherhood, 
and the communion of the saints ; for principles of this 
class, some of which they held in advance of their century, 
thrown into the formative and organic elements of a new 


world, — for these they deserve the thanks of the race of 
men, and especially of us their successors. But pre- 
eminently by the childlike faith exhibited in their confession 
of them, by their faith in His truth and spirit, as also faith 
in humanity and liberty — by this they rank with the illus- 
trious roll of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, and are 
entitled to the same historic uses. Thus used they 
become factors of order and life, of liberty and progress, 
of true conservatism and reform, and minister courage, 
counsel, guidance, and energy to those who commemorate 

" Such are the uses of idealization. Idolatry, on the 
other hand, looks at men more than principles ; indeed, 
merges all principles in itself. It attaches to the attire of 
man. It is the apotheosis of the person, and all appur- 
tenant to it becomes divine : all thought, word and act, 
is perfect, and in those thoughts, words and acts, 
all truth and excellency are formulated, and in them find 
their ultimate development and their enduring stereotype. 
Liberty no longer means liberty, even if still retained in 
the vocabulary, but permission of conformity ; the doing 
just what the fathers did, and just as they did it. Free- 
dom is limited to mere antiquarian research. Truth is no 
longer an expanding germ ; it is a petrifaction into their 
mold. Life is smothered in the dogma. Spirituality 
perishes in literalism. The iconoclast is abused to an 
idol, the liberator to a despot. The men whom we cele- 
brate for trampling down all tyrannies, for repudiating all 
authority, claiming to mediate between the soul and God 
and his truth — their names are invoked to the repression 
of free thought and worship. The apostles of progress 
are made wardens of a prison house — limitary cherubs 
barring the gates of light. . . . 

"We fitly commemorate our fathers by repudiating all 


man worship. We honor by refusing to idolize them : 
rather by claiming for ourselves to 'prove all things; 
hold fast that which is good ' ; by essaying to separate 
principle from form, life from mere dress, essence from 
mere accident or incident ; and under all and through all 
to grasp and hold forth the vital, substantive idea. 

" It behooves us, therefore, on this fifth semi-centennial 
of their history in the New World, in reviewing the sit- 
uation, to inquire whether, in our practical workings, our 
reverence for the acts of our fathers has in any respect 
obscured their life-principle, and whether our system has 
in consequence lost in any degree its original flexibility 
and power ; and that we enter on the great work that now 
opens to us, in the spirit of life, liberty and faith, with 
which they wrought in their day. . . . 

" Our national life and civilization are seriously im- 
periled by open revolt and attack — a revolt among their 
descendants against the faith as well as practice of the 
fathers, against their religious, if not political, principles, 
in forgetfulness of the fact that these are vitally and 
indissolubly united — a revolt against the God of our 
fathers and his ordinances, saying, ' Let us break his 
bands asunder, and cast away his cords from us,' reck- 
less that his cords and his bands are those of our national 
life itself. Men forget that this break in national life, 
ever perilous for all peoples, is especially so for ours ; 
that a blow at our religion is a stroke at the national 
heart, a severance of all the grand, heroic, and martyr 
pulses that beat through our civilization with the life- 
blood of the past. 

" A nation that cuts loose from its primitive faith — 
though rude, simple and imperfect, it may have been — 
is generally seen in history entering upon an era of 
decay, of shams, corruptions and crimes. All the grand 


nations and civilizations, in their grand eras, have been 
believing ones. Eras of skepticism have commonly been 
mean, shallow, corrupt and cowardly. But if this be so in 
case of nations cutting loose from dim, confused, distorted, 
natural theisms, what must be the result with those sever- 
ing themselves from such a primitive religious faith as 
ours ? On what an opprobrious and disastrous career 
shall we surely enter! In blind and fanatic hate, silly 
derision of defeatures, real or imaginary, of Puritanism, 
we are in danger of casting away its life-principle — of 
abandoning, in ignorance or cowardice, the noblest legacy 
God ever gave to a nation. 

" With the progress of this revolt civilization must 
shrivel. Its taint is leprous ; its triumph, corruption and 
the charnel-house. For the life of civilization, the life of 
what is best, noblest, most beautiful in it, yea, for the 
existence of the nation itself, we must resist this move- 
ment as we would cordon or drive back the plague. This 
revolt brings the deadliest peril, as, indeed, it derives its 
chief origin, from the fact that a medley of all nationali- 
ties, creeds, manners, civilizations and barbarisms, under 
the sun is constantly flooding us from both oceans. Wide 
flung are the gates of the Orient and of the Occident. 

' A multitude, like which the populousNorth 
Poured never from her frozen loins, to pass 
Rhene or the Danaw, 1 

is annually inundating us, and becoming part of the body 
of our empire. The elements of the whole earth are 
thrown into the caldron. What form shall emerge ? We 
need the mightiest forces — assimilative and organic — 
to be immediately applied, or our national life is lost. No 
such forces for this purpose are disclosed in history, as 
those in our own life-fountain. 


" The problem before us becomes the more perplexed 
and difficult because upon the social chaos a foreign 
superstition and spiritual despotism is directing all its 
enginery. Its direct effort may not so much alarm us. 
We may believe our political democracy will antagonize 
and baffle it. We may regard its ordnance, shotted with 
infallibility, as more dangerous at the breech than the 
muzzle. Indeed, I have little alarm at the ecclesiastical 
anachronism termed an Ecumenical Council, that is now 
plotting and processioning about the Vatican ; or the 
ghostly council that sits there, with stage thunder and 
tinsel fulmination, rattling about the bones of buried 
majesty. Mediaeval Rome is dead as the Coliseum. No 
councils, Ecumenical or Pandemoniacal, can galvanize it 
to life again. But out of the decay of its corpse emerge 
plagues and corruptions whose name is legion. The 
indirect and reactionary evils of the papal crusade on our 
country we may well dread ; and chief among them, the 
spread of rationalism, the deadliest foe to modern faith. 
Against these we need to invoke and invigorate our 
original life-forces. 

"Another danger to our church system which the 
situation discloses is our want of coalescence and co- 
efficiency, of a unity of consciousness and action — an 
autonomy that verges to the extreme of individualism. 
We are jealous of our liberties. It is well ; we can hardly 
be too much so. We are wary of concentration, or of 
large and long delegations of power. This, too, is wise. 
But unity of spirit, of cooperation and counsel, is no sur- 
render of freedom — often is its protection and conserva- 
tion. A communion of the saints — -not for legislation 
or judicature or administration, but for concert, mutual 
advice and encouragement, awakening a common con- 
sciousness, and harmonizing and combining action for 


common ends — this is not usurpation, or hierarchy, or 
spiritual despotism ; but it is rather a necessity for the 
maintenance and efficiency of our very liberties. For 
with our isolation and individualism we stand amid vast 
and concentrated ecclesiastical systems, armed with the 
sagacity, vigilance and self-consciousness, and with the 
perpetuity of succession and policy, of aristocratic or pre- 
latic rule, gifted with facility of long project and large 
coercive combinations, and furnished largely with learning, 
eloquence and piety — amid such systems, possessing, 
some of them, the prestige of great wealth and hoar anti- 
quity, magnificent ceremonial, artistic liturgy, and strong 
with the pride and sympathy of vast numbers, our 
churches stand, individual and isolated, in simplicity of 
order and policy, like petty unarmed states amid those 
with vast standing armies — like the Grecian cities of anti- 
quity in the presence of the overshadowing monarchy of 
Macedon. . . . 

"The situation presents a changed relation of the world 
to our church system and principles, one auspicious in 
itself, but liable to produce, and actually producing, a 
general relaxation of interest in the public mind in regard 
to the value of religious liberty and the dangers to which 
it is exposed. It has become in a great measure indiffer- 
ent to the vast questions that convulsed the age of our 
fathers, or is extending its guards in wrong directions and 
becoming hoodwinked to real perils. The cause is this : 
the special occasion against which the mind of the world 
was braced has passed away — that which nerved, toned, 
and exalted to exile and martyrdom. The sword of perse- 
cution, once brandished over the confessors of religious 
liberty, has fallen from the hands of spiritual despotism 
and, to a great extent, the spirit of the confessor and 
martyr has fallen with it. It has happened to us as has 


often befallen in history. Usually, universal principles 
are born of special occasions — the vindication of a right, 
in a certain instance, requiring the assertion of its univer- 
sality. So men have achieved beyond their thought or 
hope. But the special instance vindicated, the general 
principle is suffered to sleep, or at least is not pursued to 
its consequences. It passes to the tomb of accepted but 
dead axioms. The zeal aroused for it in the hour of its 
first conflict passes away, and in the security of triumph 
it perishes of its very victory. Like the Spartan war- 
rior, it is brought back upon its shield — a victor, but 
dead. . . . 

"We need to indoctrinate our people into the nature 
and value of spiritual liberty, and the dangers to which it 
is now exposed, that they may recognize and appreciate 
the subtler and more deadly attacks to which it is often 
liable in times of its apparent general triumph, after open 
violence has been abandoned, and to be admonished that 
the vocation of the Pilgrim church is not gone when the 
sword has been wrested from the hand of the persecutor, 
and the attack, transferred from the surface to the vitals, 
has passed from the regions of material to moral force ; 
or is waged, not so much by the powers of superstition 
and hierarchy as by those of materialistic and rationalistic 
worldliness. We need to give our children some reason 
for the ecclesiastical faith that is in them, so that they be 
no longer the prize and prey of rival and conflicting sects 
when they leave our own thresholds. We need to indoc- 
trinate them beyond the idea that Congregationalism is 
a mere special protest, a temporary expedient, a fragment 
thrown off in some ecclesiastical explosion, into the truth 
that it is the primitive, primordial, normal church type ; 
older than Westminster, or Lambeth, or St. Peter's, or 
the Vatican ; resting on ' the foundation of the apostles 


and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone ' ; 
that it is not a thing of mere conveniences and sections, 
classes or orders, but of the ' holy catholic church ' ; that it 
has the right to go everywhere or to exist nowhere ; that 
it is legitimate for all men or for none. We need to 
indoctrinate them beyond the idea that indifferentism is 
liberality or charity ; or that these require, as due to 
themselves, the surrender of those principles or of that 
order which are to them their natural expression and 
embodiment — their vital and effective organ. We need 
to indoctrinate them beyond a mere denominationalism, 
or the worship of a proper name — beyond a mere sectari- 
anism, or devotion to an organized party or a formulated 
symbol, unto a love of our church for its principles of 
order, faith and freedom, and for the glory of the Lord. 
We need to indoctrinate our people with the idea that 
while liberty is to Congregationalism the breath of life, 
yet that liberty is not sheer individualism or isolation ; 
but for its own protection and extension needs the 
concert and cooperation of the churches blent with 
their individualism and autonomy ; that system can only 
compete with systems, and large despotic massing can 
be met only by the free unions of the free ; and that 
communion of the saints should be coefficient and co- 
operative as well as sentimental. 

" We need indoctrination, beyond idolatry of mere 
lip-honors of the fathers, into their principles of faith 
and life, of doing and suffering ; and the honoring of 
their principles, by accepting themselves as brethren, 
not masters, counseling, not commanding, helps and 
guides, not despots ; and by receiving the great truths 
God gave to them to see, not because they believed them, 
but because they proved them, and God has given to us 
to see and prove them also ; and, moreover, by applying 


to their modes, forms, platforms and policies, the same 
private judgment we revere them for applying so fear- 
lessly to those of their fathers. . . . 

"We need to indoctrinate our people to the effect that 
liberty is a means, not an end — a means of truth ; yet that 
truth itself is not the end, but the end is life ; and espe- 
cially that in order to quicken and combine our forces of 
individualism and of order into one living organism, we 
need more the conscious communion of one life, some- 
thing transcending community of dogma, ritual or order, 
but vitalizing, energizing, and utilizing to one end, all 
these. That life is the life of Christ. The application 
of Christ himself as a living, present person is our great 
perpetual need. He must walk amid the golden candle- 
sticks, or vain is their gold, vain their shining. He must 
hold the stars in his right hand, or the constellary bands 
are broken ; ' the sweet influences ' cease to bind the 
Pleiades. We need to feel him ever as a living, indi- 
vidual, unitive, ubiquitous presence, enrobing us with 
himself as with another being ; dwelling in us as a new 
and higher life, the Supreme Head, the Coronal Mind, 
the Central Heart. Beyond fathers, confessors, heroes, 
theologues, champions, or sects, His is the name above 
every name. . . . 

" Let our church be living with that life, and it shall be 
the most beautiful and mighty of earthly things. All 
individual elements and forces shall be stimulated, har- 
monized, and knit into one celestial cosmos through this 
life. Liberty shall be sweetly under law, and law trans- 
figured to love, through it. Form and dogma shall be 
all alive and aglow with it. The church will delight to 
elaborate and appropriate, as fitting the Lord of beauty, 
all things grand and fair ; for his sake arraying herself 
in the richest and loveliest dress. This incorporation 


of the life of Christ with our order, completes, consum- 
mates it. With it, it cannot grow old or obsolete or de- 
cayed. It is immortal. It must live with the life of 
humanity and Christianity. 

" To Him, then, look we to-day. ' A cloud of wit- 
nesses ' seem gathering here, this hour, from Bunker 
Hill and the Atlantic waves. But look we away beyond 
them all to ' Him who is the author and finisher of our 

"As we take our final outlook of the situation, its ulti- 
mate indication for the church and the land our fathers 
planted is that for the sake of liberty, life and order, 
the Lord God be enthroned anew over it as king, even as 
of old by our fathers. Let us go forth with the chant of 
the Second and Seventy-second Psalms. Let a new coro- 
nation anthem inaugurate a new Pilgrim's Progress, to end 
after another quarter of a millennium — at what goal, who 
shall tell ? 

" As I look out on that future I seem to hear a cry as 
in the burden of Dumah, 'Watchman, what of the night ? 
What of the night ? ' And one answers, 'The day cometh. 
and also the night. If ye will inquire, inquire again here- 
after.' ' Light and darkness mingle in the conflict. The 
victory does not yet appear. Inquire hereafter, when the 
grand outcome, the triumph, of light shall be manifest. 
But over that gulf, thick with phantoms and with forms of 
change, I see the brightness of the burning wheels, and I 
know that He cometh whom we this day inaugurate ; and 
as the principles of his government are taught in his 
word, I know that in some form the principles we hold 
and commemorate this day — liberty, truth, love — shall 
ultimately triumph. In this assurance, let us, brethren, 
work and wait and rest in hope. 

" But as we inquire, with the prophet beside the Euphra- 

3 7 o ma r cei. l i 's pos t. 

tes, ' Lord, how long ? ' we are answered, ' Go your way. 
Many shall be purified and made white, and tried ; but the 
wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall un- 
derstand. But the wise shall understand.' 'And they that 
be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, 
and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars 
for ever and ever.' 'But go your way till the end be. 
For ye shall rest and stand in your lot at the end of the 

" And, brethren, by the changes that have passed since 
we last met (some of us) in National Council, I know the 
end to some is not afar. Some five years since we stood 
together — nearly a thousand of us — on Plymouth Rock, 
beneath the shadow of Burial Hill. We stood there under 
the shadow of the great war-cloud. It was rifted. God's 
bow was on its brow, and the glad sun was once more 
shining through. But the thunders were still in the 
heavens, and the roar of the Atlantic was mingled to our 
ears, not simply with the martyr-anthem from earlier ages, 
but with the mighty requiem of vast myriads of our sons, 
brothers, and fathers, embracing among them the best and 
noblest of the land, who for the life of the principles of 
the Pilgrim martyrs and confessors had just gone down 
forever from the light of the sun. To-day, in this Tyre 
of the new world, at the head of these occidental Medi- 
terraneans, one third the way to the western Ocean, we 
stand again in council ; to meet next, hereafter, when or 
where, who may tell ? But one reunion, brethren, is 
surely disclosed to hope, in climes whose dialects we have 
not yet learned, in mansions which we cannot name, 
for that their names are not borne to mortal ears. But 
we know it shall not be on Burial Hill, nor in Farwell 
Hall. For in that land there is no grave, and on its 
breezes no farewell." 



Sermcns on the Church Fathers, and Discourse before the American Board 
on "The Ministrant Church." — Trips in 1873 to Colorado and Europe. 
— Death of Mrs. Post, and letter to Daniel Roberts. — Letter from 
Ferrisburg two years afterwards. 

IN 1 87 1 Dr. Post preached a series of discourses — some 
of them afterward published — on the church fathers, 
Origen, Tertullian, Cyprian, Constantine, Ambrose, Chry- 
sostom and Augustine ; and in October of the same year, 
at Salem, Mass., an occasional sermon before the Ameri- 
can Board on " The Ministrant Church," from the text, 
" The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to 
minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." 

In this sermon is a very characteristic passage concern- 
ing the "Mountain of the Lord's House." 

For many years the Adirondack^ had been, as the 
reader is aware, the familiar resort of Dr. Post. Hardly a 
guide knew the peaks and lakes of the eastern range 
better than he. Summer after summer, in company with 
kindred or old friends, — the burdens of life thrown aside, 
— and equipped with a marvelous stock of youthful vigor 
and enthusiasm, he would " rough it " through the gorges 
and " fire slash," and along the trout streams, and up the 
loftier summits. 

From Dix Peak is a lordly vision of the Champlain 
valley on the east and the roll of mountains billowing 
away to the western horizon. The picture here given 
is seen from that point : — 

" Recently, as after a toilsome clamber through forest 


glooms and wilcls, formless and desolate, and up arduous 
steeps, I emerged upon one of the loftiest peaks of the 
Adirondacks, there was suddenly revealed a scene such as 
our eyes may rarely behold this side of the Golden City, 
and which seemed to type the Coronal Temple itself. 

" I seemed standing as in the presence of one of God's 
great minsters. The ' Gothic Mountains,' fitly so named, 
rising immediately before me, with awful mural steeps, 
castellated with cliffy turrets and battlements, and their 
white escarpments, or sharp-cut salient angles, wrought 
by the elements into wondrous tracery and mysterious 
symbol, carved or emblazoned with semblance of cross and 
sacred emblem, or of column, oriel, pointed arch, or half- 
swung portal, seemed as the facade of some vast cathedral, 
surmounted with sweep on sweep of ridge and peak 
above and beyond, that appeared as frieze and architrave 
of its mighty entablature ; while farther on, and higher, 
crowning the stupendous pile, and girt round with lesser 
heights that stretched as stalagmites, pinnacles, and cupolas 
to the horizon's utmost verge, up sprang the central dome, 
the mighty Tahawas itself, and under a sky 

' So cloudless, deep and purely beautiful, 
That God alone was to be seen in heaven." 

"As I emerged on this view I saw before me, 
emblazoned, ' the mountain of the Lord's house estab- 
lished in the top of the mountains.' Over what an agony 
and ruin of nature upheaved, in what gloomy and formless 
deeps founded, was that glorious pile ! From what dismal 
disorder of marsh and fen and cliff and flood and forest 
it rose ; from what confusion of nooks and vales hidden 
in beauty, and crystal cascade and rivulet, and flowers of 
wondrous sweetness, strangely blent with poisonous 
growths and wilcls deformed, 

'Rocks, caves, bogs, dens, and shades of death'! 


Yet from all this at last uprose — what a visible hallelujah 
of the mountains and the sky ! a liturgy statuesque in 
eternal granite ! " 

In 1873, and after a flying trip to Colorado and through 
Denver, Idaho Springs, and Georgetown, and up Gray's 
Peak, Dr. Post, in company with two sons, visited Europe. 

This trip, long dreamed of, was at last accomplished 
through the urgent request — almost entreaty — of Mrs. 
Post, who, although an invalid, and gradually growing 
feebler, in this project, as always where the happiness of 
others was considered, had no thoughts for herself. The 
journey was undertaken with some misgivings and after a 
good deal of hesitation. 

A month spent in London, in its endless maze of 
historical relics and associations, was fraught with intense 
and unflagging interest. 

While there, and after a round of sight-seeing, Dr. Post 
said, one day, " I have heard and talked and dreamed of 
London, the mighty city beyond the ocean, hardly expect- 
ing ever to be walking in its streets ; and lo ! I am here. 
And so will it be when I come to stand on the shores of 
another life. I shall think then how 1 have talked and 
read and dreamed of the New Jerusalem that seemed so 
dim and far off in my earthly life ; and lo ! I am here." 

The Scotch and English lake countries, Salisbury and 
Stonehenge, a fortnight in Paris, and a brief sojourn in 
Florence, Venice, Rome and Naples, are among the shin- 
ing features of atrip where almost everything was delight- 
ful in experience and charming in retrospect. 

One solid month was passed among the Alps, in ram- 
bling and loitering, as humor might dictate, with alpen- 
stock and field-glass, and independent of guide or diligence, 
mainly among the Napoleon roads; sometimes up among 


the glaciers and snow-peaks. The untiring energy with 
which Dr. Post, then in his sixty-fourth year, kept the 
road over hill and vale, often at a sharp gait, for twelve or 
fourteen hours a clay, seemed little short of marvelous in 
one of his years and sedentary habits. 

Here is a picture given by him from recollections of 
Switzerland, in his address at Middlebury at the semi- 
centennial reunion of his class: — 

"The temple of humanity rises before me in the land- 
scape of history, like the tower of the Matterhorn in the 
Alps, as I saw it on my first approach, its base half 
descried through eddying mists, while above, the mighty 
obelisk, hieroglyphed and scarred by awful storms, and 
piercing with uplift on uplift higher and ever higher into 
heaven, was draped with wild clouds and tempest, swirling 
around and enfolding it — save in broken glimpses — 
from sight, till far in the azure height its top was touched 
by the reflected glory of the sun which had sunk below 
the horizon." 

And here is another picture taken from an address in 
January, 1881, at the reunion in Chicago of the Sons of 
Vermont : — 

"The voice of old Vermont from the far-off years has 
ever followed me through all my exile, calling, as did 
the London bells to the departing boy, the future lord 
mayor, ' Turn again ! turn again ! ' — a voice such as seemed 
to call to me from the high Alps as I was descending one 
of them, amid scenery whose wild, strange beauty and 
awful grandeur would have persuaded me to linger forever. 
A strain of melody — wild, weird, melancholy, and strangely 
sweet — came floating through the air, mingling with the 
bursts of sunlight, the flash of glaciers, the rush of tor- 
rents, the awe of vast gorge and precipice in deep shadow, 
and cloud-masses charioted along the peaks by the moun- 



tain winds — a strain that with wailing, echoing refrain 
seemed pleading around my departing footsteps, 'Turn 
again ! turn again ! ' I looked around, above, beneath, 
amid the torrent, the glacier, the gorge, and the echoing 
peak and cloud, to see where and what the voice might 
be. At first, in vain. Presently I saw across a deep 
gulf, on the slope of an opposite mountain, an Alpine boy 
seated on a rock, and from his lone, high perch flood- 
ing the earth and sky with his Alpine melody." 

The glories of the Oberland and of Chamounix, and 
the valley of the Visp and the Gorner Grat, were a never- 
failing theme during the evenings at home in the years 
that followed. 

Italy had for him, in addition to its charm of sky and 
landscape and art, the eloquent story of a past world in 
which had been his familiar walk through many a year of 
research, with Mommsen and Niebuhr and Merivale and 
the Latin authors. 

The trip was brought to an abrupt and painful close in 
this "far land " by a telegram from St. Louis announcing 
the illness of Mrs. Post and calling the travelers home. 
The news was meager, but sufficient to excite the gravest 
alarm ; and after traveling night and day by rail, and 
taking the first steamer from Liverpool, they reached 
St. Louis about the end of October, in time for a few 
hours of broken but unspeakably precious converse at the 
dying bedside. 

Mrs. Post had, with one of her daughters, passed a few 
weeks at Middlebury, but, rapidly failing, had journeyed 
painfully home. The time of the return from Europe was 
so looked forward to by the sufferer, and the days and 
hours were counted over with such anxious and eager 
expectancy, that it seemed as though the meeting itself 
might cause too great an excitement to be borne. 


At length, on the fourth day of November, the shadow- 
fell, and the first great grief entered the household. The 
family circle, through nearly forty years unvisited by 
death, was at last broken. 

Long known in a wide sphere of friendship in the 
church and out of it, actively connected with many 
schemes of benevolence and patriotism, Mrs. Post was 
beloved and honored everywhere. In the sacred circle of 
home life, how much she was loved and mourned can 
never be told. 

To Dr. Post the loss was unspeakably great. His coun- 
selor, to whom plans and problems in life were always 
submitted without reserve, one whose admirable system 
and method supplemented his own disorder, whose facile 
and lucid pen was always in readiness to translate his 
obscure manuscripts for the press, who was eyes and staff 
to him in days of blindness, who was sunlight and hope 
and cheer in despondency, and whose untiring and abso- 
lute self-devotion had never failed him in trial and sickness 
— was taken away. 

No fidelity or loving care of children could so watch 
over and minister to him. Solitary nights in his chamber, 
and days that were lonely in his study without the gentle 
presence and faithful ministries so wonted there, were 
thenceforward in store for him. 

The stroke, heavy as it was, he bore as would be 
expected of one whose converse was so much in another 
world. With the labors of the pulpit and parish, and 
those of educational causes with which he was connected, 
with denominational interests, with contributions for the 
press, all in turn pressing and demanding his attention, he 
continued at work, not faltering in the great purposes of 
his life. But the world could never be the same. The 
journey was thenceforward " under altered skies." 



To his old classmate he writes (December 2, 1873) : — 

" Dear Daniel, — Friend of my earlier years! How in 
those years would these days have looked to us, when we 
are being borne along amid the sad, solemn, tremendous 
experiences of our mortal life — experiences which then 
appeared to belong to the dim, distant, hardly real scenery 
of some other and visionary world, and could never really 
be ours ! But here I am where deep calleth to deep, and 
the shadows around me are awful — and the only true 
light around me is that which gleams from no mortal 

" I thank you much for your words of true-hearted sym- 
pathy and of genuine wish to comfort me. They affect 
me deeply ; they are very grateful to me. You knew my 
dear wife from the days of her girlhood, and can, better 
than most others, estimate my terrible loss in my bereave- 
ment of that sweet, noble, gifted, loving spirit that for 
most of my manly life — now more than thirty-eight years 
— has been almost perpetually beside me, the light of 
my heart and my home, and blent with all life's scenery, 
and become a part well-nigh of life itself, but has now 
gone from me, to return nevermore. 

" Such afflictions as mine commonly bring their own 
press of strange cares that will not allow grief its wont 
for self-indulgence or self-utterance. It is probably in 
mercy thus. For when I begin to think or speak of mine 
I know not where to stop. I may not attempt to tell you 
how I miss one presence everywhere ; how the lights 
seem gone out everywhere in this world, and there is to 
me the constant, dull, heavy pain of the feeling that some- 
thing is wanting — something sweet, beautiful, and loving 
is gone, which I shall not find again — which the all- 
circling sun shall nevermore behold in all his course. 

"There is a solemn comfort in the thoughts which you 


suggest, that we arc all gathering fast to that shadowy 
border, one which our 'late departed saints' and most of 
the friends have already passed. May God bring us to it 
with as rich ripeness of life and soul as I believe was pos- 
sessed by her whom I mourn ! So I believe we shall 
descend into the darkness that borders this mortal sphere 
with the assurance, through Him that has for us overcome 
death and the grave, of a rising hereafter to a reunion in 
the land of eternal light. May this be God's gift to us 

Two years afterward, September 2, 1875, Dr. Post 
writes from North Ferrisburg, then the home of his 
brother Oliver, where his mother had passed her last days 
and was buried, and where forty years before he had vis- 
ited on the wedding journey : — 

" My dear Son, — It seems strange to write ' Septem- 
ber ' and to feel that autumn is here again leading on to 


• Eheu ! fugaces . . . 
Labuntur anni. 1 

" What have the years brought, what borne away, and 
whither do they marshal ? 

" I am here, where I have been years ago with my 
mother, with your mother, with faces that are wrinkled 
and changed under distant suns, or look out on me only 
from the shores of other worlds. 

' Oh ! for the touch of a vanished hand, 
And the sound of a voice that is still ! ' 

" Scenes from life's enacted drama come back, and 
personages and moods of being forever past come back, 
and for the moment seem to live, then vanish ; but as they 
do, they utter words I could not, if I would, recite in the 
ears of youth, for youth has no dialect for them. But 


with significance pointing to other worlds and vaster deeps 
and mightier continents of being, these utterances also 
admonish us of this world which is passing. 

' Life let us cherish while yet the taper burns,' 

so as to make the most and best of it, to effectuate to the 
utmost its possibilities not only of blessing, but also of 
being blessed. 

"As I look back, how many harvests seem as within my 
reach, but which are now as with the dreams of a faded 
paradise ! Shall it be so with the future of my life or of 
yours ? 

"These thoughts have stolen upon me as I have sat here 
in this silent chamber in a silent house, with the warm 
south winds sighing amid the pines under a haze that 
rests like a half sleep and half dream over all the land- 
scape, stretching from the hills above me over the valley 
and Lake Champlain to the distant and dim Adirondacks." 



Address in Broadway Tabernacle, New York — " Our Country as a Factor in 
the Kingdom of Christ." — Monograph on the Second Advent. — " Con- 
gregationalism : the Life Story." — Class Semi-Centennial Address in 
Middlebury, and letters to Calvin Hulburd. — Address in Chicago at the 
Annual Banquet of the Sons of Vermont. — Sermon in St. Louis before 
the American Board, on "The Outlook of the Times; the Trend of the 

IN May, 1874, Dr. Post preached in Broadway Taber- 
nacle Church, in New York, a sermon in behalf of the 
American Home Missionary Society. The sermon was 
afterwards given, by request, to the press. The topic of 
the sermon was " Our Country as a Factor in the Kingdom 
of Christ," the text being "And the kings of the earth 
do bring their glory and honour into it." — Rev. 21: 24. 
A few of the leading thoughts are here given : — 

" Home missions are a peculiar necessity of our country, 
in that they are essential to our peculiar type of politi- 
cal life. They are essential to that combination of order 
and liberty which is requisite to the maintenance of our 
free institutions : first, because Christianity is essential 
to true liberty. Society, to be free, must be free first in 
soul ; and Christianity makes state and society free, be- 
cause it makes souls free. It makes souls free, inasmuch 
as it places them individually before God — each in imme- 
diate relation and responsibility to him. It emancipates 
from all human masters, admits no human mediators or 
hierophants between man and his Maker. In placing him 
in immediate responsibility to God, it allows of no human 
despotism over the private reason and conscience. None 



may stand between man and God here that may not stand 
between him and the necessary consequences of belief on 
character and destiny. Each for himself must believe, 
obey, and worship. . . . 

" Again, Christianity is essential to true liberty because 
it allies liberty with love, equality with brotherhood. With- 
out love it cannot live. It is simply a gospel of rights 
apart from duties. Such liberty is jealous, selfish and 
malign. It produces strifes, disintegration and ruin. 
Liberty without love, that is, liberty of equality without 
brotherhood, is simply a bloody phantom. . . . 

" As Christ is the true liberator of nations, so he is also 
the only conservator of those liberated. . . . He estab- 
lishes the only order of love, of mutual and equal obliga- 
tions ; not one of merely dead, dogmatic duty, but one 
living and delightful with true brotherhood and true 
human sympathy — an order in which law is itself perfect 

" In the second place, he places liberty under law to 
God ; not to human authority alone, which may be eluded, 
deceived, or defied ; but to Him who pierces to the very 
depth of our consciousness and establishes there his 
police, his magistracy, and his tribunal ; to Him whom 
nothing can elude, flee, or defy ; to Him who brings the 
inmost soul into subjection to the law of love; who 
throws the awe of his holiness and of his majesty over 
the most secret life, and enforces the sanctions of time 
with those of eternity. ... 

" No scheme of society or polity grounded on mere 
selfishness can permanently endure. Adjust your con- 
stitutions with checks and balances never so nicely, the 
machinery worked by the mainspring of selfishness will 
ultimately clash, and at last run down. No governmental 
mechanism which man has ever devised is perpetually 


self-acting and self-conservative. It has to be wrought 
somewhere, ultimately by human spontaneity, by the wills 
of men ; and if these wills are merely selfish, it will be 
wrought ultimately to corruption, collision, and decay. 

" But Christ opens a life-fountain of unselfish action in 
the bosom of nations. He baptizes men into a solemn 
covenant of self-devotion and self-sacrifice for the good of 
others. Hence is bred a true, unselfish, public spirit, a 
pure philanthropy, a genuine patriotism, and the heroism 
of love. The church is an association of such men, in 
such a covenant ; so that if nations are not all Christian- 
ized, a class at least of the self-devoted is consecrated 
within them, and thereby a true public spirit may be 
created, by which alone nations may perpetually live. . . . 

" Christianity is essential to the life of our civilization, 
in that society lives by progress, and progress feeds on the 
ideal or on the conception and pursuit of a higher excel- 
lence and a happier era than that already realized. Life 
is an aspiration and endeavor after the unattained yet 
attainable. When the faculty of such conception and 
endeavor fails, civilization decays and nations perish. 
The power of such idealization must be found in a 
nation's faith, its conceptions of the divine. But the 
gods of the classic nations of antiquity were only exag- 
gerated men — exaggerated in evil more often than in 
good ; and the divine, such as it was in their faith, 
was forever beyond human aspiration. Their Olympus, 
whatever of excellency or bliss it enclosed, was forever 
shut against weary mortals. Human aspiration and en- 
deavor could only be directed to apotheosized human 
virtues, — those of heroism, patriotism, and justice, — and 
toward a better era, when these should rule the world. . . . 

" Only the type of the divine, revealed in Christ Jesus ; 
the idealized humanity of Him who was both Son of 



man and Son of God, ever lifted up before the world ; 
the beauty of a God of love shining in the face of 
Christ, and the call of man to a participation in the 
divine nature and the glories of an eternal heaven — only 
these, presenting the ever unattained yet ever approach- 
able excellency and bliss of God, can forever lead on the 
aspirations of man and society. . . . 

" I know of no lives of greater Christian beauty or 
more heroic self-sacrifice than I have seen in the mis- 
sionary homes in the west. Those lives, though some- 
times for their very beauty seeming almost misplaced in 
that waste, — where they often fade away briefly and 
silently as the wild flower fades, — yet I have felt were 
not only sacrifices most precious to Christ, but evangels 
mightier and more eloquent than all speech. . . . 

" The ultimate coronal argument for home evangeli- 
zation is the consecration of a nation and civilization — 
destined probably to become the mightiest on earth — 
to the cause of Christian missions the world over, to 
' bring the glory and honor ' of this nation into the city 
of God ; to convert its riches into a missionary fund, 
its commerce and travel into missionary visitation, its 
energies of character, intelligence and institutions, into 
missionary forces ; its churches, enlarged and enriched, 
multiplied and sanctified, into perennial fountains of 
missionary endeavor and enterprise for all the earth. 

" Thus looked at, so far from being rival, home and 
foreign missions are identical ; not competing, but coop- 
erative and mutually supplemental; not lights of different 
orders, — the primary sun and satellite moon, — but, like 
the double stars seen by astronomers in the nightly skies, 
twin suns, coordinate, mutually attractive and comple- 
mental, together marshaling up the empyrean the armies 
of light. 


" We delight thus to look on our country as a magazine 
of vast missionary power for the coming era. Thus con- 
templating it, patriotism finds its sublimest significance, 
rises to its loftiest passion, yea, almost to a religion. I 
feel, for such a country it is grand to live ; for such, men 
may well dare to die. 

" As in the light of hope — I had almost said of 
prophecy — I thus contemplate our country, all its won- 
drous energies transfigured into forces, architective of the 
kingdom of Christ, led by the same Hand that conducted 
our fathers through the great deep and the wilderness, 
down ages overhung with solemn and glorious destinies — 
as thus I look, all our history rises to a loftier significancy. 
God's golden purpose strikes through all the past, its 
lines of light shooting through all the maze and kindling 
into a divine scheme. The labors of our fathers and of 
our own shadowy lives are economized and eternized in a 
plan of God. In vision, beyond Columbus' dream, beyond 
even the Pilgrims' prayer, I seem to see arising in this 
new world a power ministrant in chief among the nations, 
to the universal royalty of Christ ; and I seem to hear, 
sounding along its march down the vast future, the exulta- 
tion of the Hebrew seer over God's people of old : 'There 
is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon 
the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. 
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the 
everlasting arms : . . . Happy art thou, O Israel : who is 
like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of 
thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency ! and 
thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee ; and thou shalt 
tread upon their high places.' " 

In February, 1878, Dr. Post read before the Congrega- 
tional ministers of St. Louis a monograph, afterward pub- 


lished, on the Second Advent theory and the "crass 
literalism applied to the prophetic Scriptures " on which 
is built the belief in the visible and personal coming of 
Christ with his saints and angels prior to the millennial 

Of "Congregationalism: the Life Story," delivered be- 
fore the Congregational Association of Missouri, October 
28, 1878, mention has already been made, and liberal ex- 
tracts have been inserted early in these pages. 

The year 1879, as will be remembered, was the semi- 
centennial reunion of Dr. Post's class at Middlebury. On 
May 2 he writes to his classmate, Calvin Hulburd, in the 
prospect of that reunion : — 

" I enjoyed much, reading your letter received yesterday. 
It was like a flash into far-gone years, a gleam glimpsing 
into the years of morning. I should like to see the 
remnants of the old fleet that set sail so gallantly fifty 
years ago on the great flood tide of time, though shattered, 
dismantled, half-wrecked that remnant might be, and 
associated with the thought that many had sailed forever 
beyond the time-horizon. Perhaps the old life might come 
back for the hour and we might take a brief walk in the 
fields of morning. I should like to see the fellows — those 
left — once more, though I feel, with you, it would be like 
Ossian's music." 

July 1, 1879, Dr. Post delivered the semi-centennial 
address already mentioned and quoted from in connection 
with the college life. The address was elegy as wejl as 

" The hour seems, for me, consecrated to a world that, 
with its personnel and scenery, has drifted into the past 
eternity ; to reminiscences, affections, forms of thought 
and being: that attached to a vanished drama, rather than 


to the sphere of cold intellect or hard logic. The haze of 
half a century's memories, with their far-drifting pano- 
rama, suffuses the hour with a sort of Michaelmas atmos- 
phere, a soft, dim Indian-summer air, the euthanasia of 
the year. A tender, dreamy mezzotint envelopes it, half 
sadness, half repose, half sweetness, and half pain, in 
which logic and philosophy lapse into reminiscence and 
soften into sentiment. The power of the long ago is on 
the time. The consciousness of the passing away, the 
falling off from us of vanished things, the sense of 
change in ourselves and all this world — these seem to 
inject their hue and tone through all things." 

It was eulogy of the Alma Mater and of her power, as 
that of one of the lesser and country colleges, in compari- 
son with the larger institutions in the midst of cities, in 
molding her undergraduates. 

Such colleges " furnish independent centers of culture, 
of thought, criticism, taste, philosophy, art, and public 
opinion in the republic of letters and of humanity. 
They protect from despotism, dictatorship, imperialism, in 
that domain, as also from the rule of class, clique, dis- 
trict, or city, towards which modern centralization tends." 

The smaller college in rural districts preeminently 
favors "individualism of growth and development," from 
"the superior facilities it offers for calm, isolated, medita- 
tive thought and study. : . . 

" Such is the genesis of the great demiurgic minds of 
history, the firstborn of poesy or philosophy or logic or 
art, as of the chief architects in politics, religion or 
empire, in the past. Like the eaglet nursed in high soli- 
tudes, like the storm centers born in the lone desert or 
awful mountain heights, like the electric cloud charged 
in secrecy and silence — such has been their origin, their 
nature, their development ; their gathering of power, in 


mystery, in solitudes, in places high and silent, away from 
the tumult of crowds, 'the hum and shock of men.' 

" They are beyond the power of the million to create — 
as much as the Mississippi or the ^Etnas, the river or the 
volcano. In this sense the Titans of thought, like those 
of force in the old myth, are truly the children of Gaia — 
the brood of Nature herself brooded into life under the 
immediate intuition of Truth and God. . . . 

" Of, or on, mere rounded isomorphous pebbles, no 
building is possible. No more is building possible of, or 
on, minds rolled, rubbed, rounded, triturated, by perpetual, 
mutual attrition, into perfect smoothness and similitude, 
all angles or corners knocked or worn off — such attri- 
tion as is constantly going on under the operation of our 
social and political democracy, and the ubiquitous appli- 
ances of fashion and the newspapers, and the grind and 
friction of crowds thronging all the ways of popular 
passion or pursuit. . . . 

" As the universal ever rests on the special, individual- 
ism furnishes those specialisms on which, as sub-arches or 
caryatides, the central dome is uplifted. . . . 

" Another special advantage in colleges of this class is 
found in the relation of the student to the teacher. This 
relation is one, to a greater extent, of immediate contact 
with professors rather than tutors, that is, with teachers 
of a higher grade, more mature in scholarship and charac- 
ter, and more permanent in position. . . . The teacher is 
more than the book taught. The text-book is often of 
chief value as the medium between Uae mind and soul of 
the teacher and the pupil. One Arnold, with his great 
Christian manhood, applying himself to the scholar, were 
worth many encyclopaedias." 

From his home in St. Louis he writes to Calvin Hulburd 
December 24, 1879 : — 


" I can hardly realize that the months have rolled on 
bringing the dark, short, cold days with which December 
closes the year, and that Christmas is all astir again in the 
hearts of the mothers and the children. . . . 

" I am while in the city, and especially during the later 
fall and the earlier winter months, in a perpetual engross- 
ment and drive. ... I feel it ought not to be so ; that I 
ought to have a little pause and rest and time for review 
and gathering up results, and for taking observations on 
the course, departure and position, of my life's voyage, 
before I go hence. But that time seems never to come, 
and perhaps may not come, till the end itself comes, 
which I know is not far. But be that as it may, I cheer- 
fully leave it to the Master, and so long as His providence 
and apparent duty seem to indicate to me my position and 
work where and as I am, I so accept it ; for I feel that we 
best publish whatever in us is worth living after us, by 
printing ourselves, while living and in our daily work, on 
the minds of living men, more than by books, which are 
usually, however excellent, consigned to the dust and 
mold of the upper shelf before the authors themselves 
are dust. . . . 

" The friends of my youth are becoming few and far 
between. I am constantly engaged in writing letters of 
condolence to the wives and children of those who have 
recently passed away, and I know these are marshaling 
me the way I must soon go. My thoughts are drawn 
much toward the mysterious world beyond our time- 
horizon, and sometimes I feel well-nigh divorced from this 
shadowy scene where I have sojourned for nearly seventy 
years and now see the gates of evening opening toward 
the eternal morning. My circle of exact knowledge seems 
shrinking as I descend the vale of years. But I feel more 
strongly than ever that my Father and God will be with 


me and bear me up through the mystery of the eternal 

At the annual gatherings of Sons of Vermont and New 
England societies, in St. Louis and Chicago, Dr. Post was 
a frequent guest and often called to respond to some senti- 
ment specially appropriate to the evening. The themes 
suggested on such occasions were those of faith and 
fatherland, and furnished him with never-failing inspira- 
tion ; and his loyalty to old memories, and his personal 
magnetism and play of fancy and touches of pathos made 
his impromptu responses at such reunions peculiarly 
happy. A number of them, published at the time in the 
local and religious press, and carefully preserved in Mrs. 
Post's scrapbook, are omitted here simply because of a 
similarity in the general vein of thought between them 
and some of the addresses quoted from in this volume. 

The printed report of the annual banquet of the Sons 
of Vermont, held in January, 1881, at Chicago, contains 
one of these addresses, and one from which an Alpine 
picture has been inserted in a previous chapter ; and it is 
difficult to know what selections to make without inserting 
the rest of the response. 

Following is the opening : — 

" Mr. President, and Sons and Daughters of Vermont, — 
for such I assume this large and brilliant assemblage to be, 
by birth or heredity, or by adoption, either through the 
grace of election, or the election of grace, — I feel, though 
personally we may be strangers, that a peculiar freemasonry 
unites us this evening — a freemasonry not of the grip or 
password, not of the clan or clique or school or party, 
of nothing with air or attitude of exclusiveness towards 
the good, the noble, and the true, wherever found ; but the 
freemasonry of conscious, common memories, associations, 


obligations and affections, binding to the same natal soil ; 
of a consciousness that when 'our life-stream tracks its 
parent lake,' it brings to us the same grand old mother- 
land — land of the mountain and the lake, of summer 
sunburst and winter storms ; to the same scenery of field 
and forest, fountain and brookside, whose armorial pines 
throw out their evergreen banners from the battlements 
of the everlasting hills, over the rush of waterfalls or roar 
of tempests, in challenge to the thundercloud, or in the 
glorious sunrise or sunset stand sentinels over vast snow- 
fields, or landscapes of sweetest Junes. 

" I am conscious of a freemasonry that brings us back 
alive to the old schoolhouse and church, and to the church- 
yard and friends of the long ago sleeping there ; to the 
same vision of the sweet, brave faces of childhood and 
youth ; to the waking of our soul-life under the same tonic 
skies, the same influences of outward nature and social 
genius, and the same primordial ideas and sentiments — 
those beginnings of thought and feeling that are the 
'primal light of all our seeing,' the master hue of all life's 
picture, the deepest undertone in all life's music — 
'thoughts that wake, to perish never.'" 

At the meeting of the American Board, held in St. 
Louis in October, 1881, Dr. Post preached a discourse 
which is a departure from the themes and lines of thought 
heretofore given, on " The Outlook of the Times ; the 
Trend of the World." 

" When the earth in its annual circuit enters the mete- 
oric belt, aerolites, before invisible, though ever moving, 
entering the friction of the earth's atmosphere, flame out 
into the star showers. So God's thoughts, as they enter 
the atmosphere of the age, flash into manifestation to the 
eyes of men. So the ' signs of the times,' appealed to by 
Christ, heralded the fall of Jerusalem, the coming of the 


Messiah, and the entrance of a new cycle of ages. So, 
to the old Roman world, portents of the coming storm, 
now as with the flash of the far-off summer lightning, 
now as with the crash of the near thunder, showed them- 
selves for ages all around the horizon. So the morning of 
the Reformation was led on by an aurora of centuries. 
So the volcanic era of the French Revolution was pre- 
tokened to the publicist and statesman by half a century 
of portents in the realm of social, moral, political, and 
religious ideas and life, as well as in murmurs louder and 
louder of earthquake in the deeps below all the world- 

"And thus I am now oppressed with awe as I plainly 
see the manifest, persistent trend of the world toward 
some great event or epoch in human affairs, and the 
acceleration of history to some solemn crisis, and feel the 
quickened pulse of humanity under the mighty stimulant 
forces recently thrown into the life of the world. Espe- 
cially am I impressed as I see this trend and acceleration 
convergently directed toward a more rapid rise, advance- 
ment, and utterance of thought and science, and the 
swifter propagation and unification of sentiment, passion 
and opinion, the world over ; tending to make its mind 
one medium, susceptible of one universal, simultaneous 
impulse, and preparing the way for the reign of ideas, 
and — if the earth moves rightly — for the reign of those 
ideas which are factors of the coming of the kingdom of 
God, which is the kingdom of the Truth and the Spirit 
among men." 

Following this passage the address gives a graphic pic- 
ture of the advance of man during the present century, 
with the railroad and steamship and printing-press, and 
the telegraph and telephone and photograph and kindred 

39 2 


" We are apt," says the address, in continuation, " to 
look upon these wonders of human art as though they 
had been always, as though they were parts of the course 
of nature itself. Yet a little while ago they were not, 
save only in the thought of God. Within the memory of 
some here present to-day, God has given all these thoughts 
to the world. Why ? They have waited since the morn- 
ing of creation until now, and here they are. Not with- 
out purpose do they enter the world here and now. What 
is that purpose ? Is it not witnessed in their actual 
effect ? And this is also their necessary logical result. 
They all manifestly tend to the rapid diffusion, compari- 
son, modification and perfection, of ideas ; to the unifi- 
cation of thought the world over, the rise of one republic 
of letters, of one public law, one public opinion, one moral 
1 federation for the globe,' and so to a preparation for the 
rule of one spiritual faith, and the one Christ of God over 
all nations. No thunderings, lightnings, and voices from 
out the heavens could tell us more plainly than these 
signs that the earth is nearing some not 'far-off divine 
event,' and moving on the trend just indicated with vastly 
increased velocity. 

" As one looks over an atlas of the world's history, 
names or events marking epochs seem scattered over vast 
blank ages, like stars in the outer desolate abysses of our 
stellar system ; but gradually they thicken up, until, con- 
stellation after constellation, group after group, emergent, 
they become a galaxy overarching the zenith. So out on 
the twilight deeps of history the car of the world moves, at 
first slow and ponderous, hardly a stroke a century heard 
over the desolate and vast profound. But faster and 
faster, with the centuries, comes the roll of the wheels, 
till, in continuous rush, they sweep by us like a storm. 
With such acceleration now, it seems to me, the ages of 


history are hastening to some goal. The earth is hur- 
rying to its perihelion, and more and more coming within 
the grasp of the attractions of the Sun of righteousness, 
as it enters more within its radiant beams. The river of 
history, swollen and impelled by confluents from afar, 
feels its approach to some vast issue, pulsating with the 
rapids which foretoken the cataract, or quivering with the 
refluent tidal throb of the great ocean." 

Signs of vast opportunity and vast emergency were to 
be seen in " the advance of democracy with its blazon of 
free thought and speech and action"; in "the universal 
demand for educational agencies and institutions through- 
out the world" ; in the "aggressive ascendency of Chris- 
tian nations" and "the progressive decay of the faiths 
and philosophies of the pagan and Mohammedan world " ; 
in the present " missionary spirit and enterprise among 
Christian nations, not surpassed since the age of the 
apostles ; and the fading and blending into one of the 
home and foreign missions. . . . 

"The antipodes are our neighbors. India, China, 
Japan, Ethiopia, stretching their hands unto God, and the 
isles waiting for his law, are become part of our home 
scenery and daily morning bulletins. We are become to 
them 'our brother's keeper' in the sight of God. . . . 

" Home missions and foreign missions are of one life. 
Neither can subsist long alone. They live by joint and 
reciprocal action." 

Closing this discourse, Dr. Post said : — - 

" The time prophesied of the « shaking not earth only, 
but also heaven,' seems near at hand. The shocks that 
have been unshackling the world have let loose all the 
elements of agitation, and spirits of every hue, of light 
or of darkness, are out on the air. Antagonistic prin- 
ciples, long sleeping, unconscious and inert, side by side, 



are roused to mortal grapple. Each feels compelled by 
the accelerated life of society to force the fight, and the 
whole earth shakes and reels with the conflict. Under 
the universal attrition of ideas all things are becoming 
heated, glowing, molten, but soon to crystallize to ada- 
mantine shape for ages. What form, what stamp, what 
superscription, shall they bear ? To what order shall this 
chaos come ? 

"Awful shadows are falling across the dial plate of 
time. The crisis of the ages is surely drawing on. A flag 
is thrown out from the crystal battlements. Legions of 
light or darkness are mustering. The whir of angel 
pinions is on the air. Woe to the sluggard, the craven, 
the recreant, the self-seeker, the time-server now ! It is 
the spiritual Waterloo of the world. It is the day of the 
Lord in the 'valley of decision.' It is Armageddon. 

" I look on this scene, if not without care, yet without 
fear of the great ultimate result. I see a new order of 
the world hastening on. Awful and mighty ages pass 
before me. But their faces are covered with cloud ; I 
cannot clearly see them. Yet will I not fear. He that is 
to come will come. I see him, and not afar. I surely 
behold him, and even nigh. Through the darkness and 
confusion and conflict of the hour I see, out on the bat- 
tling deep, the wings of mighty cherubim and the burning 
wheels of the coming of the Son of man ; and before the 
jasper throne I hear the angel of the seventh trumpet 
crying, ' The kingdoms of this world are become the king- 
doms of our Lord, and of his Christ ; and he shall reign 
for ever and ever,' and the hallelujahs are rising through 
all the earth and all the heaven." 



Resignation by Dr. Post of his Pastorate. — Hammond Library bequest to 
the Chicago Theological Seminary, and response of Dr. Post for the 
Seminary. — Letters on Various Topics. — Summers at Biddeford Pool 
and elsewhere. 

JANUARY i, 1882, terminated the active work of 
Dr. Post as a pastor. The step was one long con- 
templated. The church on Tenth and Locust streets, at 
first a pioneer on the outskirts, had, with the western 
drift of the population, and not long after the close of 
the war, as already appears, got to be a "down town" 
church, and was fighting over again its old battle begun 
on Sixth Street with bad surroundings. In consequence 
of change of residence, its members were slowly drop- 
ping off and hardly any new ones came to supply their 
places. Though faithfully sustained by a portion of its 
congregation, — some of them living at a distance in the 
southwest part of the city, — the church had already, in 
1872, sunk into a condition of low and languishing vitality, 
with no hope of rally in its then location and with no 
clearly defined prospect of removal. 

And, having completed in the St. Louis pulpit a 
service of twenty-five years, — regarded by him as "a 
fitting term of his pastoral relation," and in view of the 
condition of the church, and with the expressed hope 
that good might be wrought through some new pastor 
bringing " fresh energy and fresh hopes, . . . whose 
word should have lost none of its power through time 



and wontage," — Dr. Post had in that year (1872) ten- 
dered his resignation to the church. 

The step was taken after mature deliberation and — as 
shown by his letter — with a profound and sorrowful 
sense of its momentousness : — 

" Of the feelings with which I make this annuncia- 
tion ; of the pang it costs me ; of my sense of solem- 
nity in closing such a chapter in my life's history, and 
handing its record up for the great judgment ; of my 
sorrowful consciousness of my many shortcomings, and 
of the tender and grateful memories that gather around 
the hour, from recent and from far-gone years, and 
from faces not only of the living but the dead, — of these 
I cannot now speak. I can only assure you I shall leave 
you with unforgetting and grateful appreciation of your 
many kindnesses during so many years, and with senti- 
ments of sincere love for your Christian worth and truth, 
which I trust to carry with me through all the coming 
years, and to bear with me to the reunions of other 

A memorial signed by nearly all the congregation 
induced a withdrawal of the resignation, largely because, 
as stated in his letter responding to the memorial, it 
seemed in that juncture that the loss of its pastor would, 
" on the whole, be disastrous to the interests of the 
church " ; and the resignation was withdrawn, with the 
expectation on his part that the relation resumed 
"would, from many causes, probably be — indeed, from 
the course of nature would of necessity be — brief." 

So the pastoral relations continued for ten years more, 
till 1882, when the considerations already mentioned, 
together with others, prevailed on him to make the step 

By that time he had been (including the period from the 


date when he first took charge of the Congregational 
church in Jacksonville) in the labors of the ministry for 
nearly half a century, without a break — his connection 
with the St. Louis pulpit following immediately upon his 
resignation in the former place ; and the time had cer- 
tainly become ripe for release from active work of the 

The church had left its quarters on Tenth Street, and 
having secured a sightly lot on Delmar Avenue, west of 
Grand, had pitched its tabernacle there ; and the era of 
trial and difficulty, though not at an end, had passed its 
worst crisis. Dr. Post felt, as he afterward wrote to 
the church, that through its change to a new location 
it " was virtually transferred to a new field and the in- 
ception of a new church enterprise — one seeming to 
necessitate, as such beginnings of church enterprises 
usually do, new forms and methods of work which 
would be better committed to the mobile and versatile 
activities, and the more fertile and facile invention and 
device, of an earlier period of life." 

Accordingly, in this year (1881) he again sent in his 
resignation, to take effect January 1, 1882. 

The church recognized the tax upon the energies of a 
clergyman in active church work, and the propriety in 
that regard of the retirement, and accepted his resigna- 
tion as active pastor of the church, asking at the same 
time by its vote that he should remain as pastor emeritus. 
In an address by the church, responding to Dr. Post's 
letter of resignation, his people said : — 

" Out of the tender regard in which we hold him, and 
in order to prolong a life precious to all who know him, 
we consent to his request. We consent to it as we con- 
sent to the approach of winter in the course of the 
season. We grant it the more willingly, as we hope 


thereby that his presence may be the longer spared to us 
as a saintly benediction. We promise him a quiet and 
useful old age, so far as these may depend upon the 
esteem of his people, and we pray that, when the winter 
of our lives is past, we may enjoy, with such as he, an 
eternal spring." 

But Dr. Post was far from any idea of laying down his 
armor and retiring into a life of inaction. In reply to the 
address of the church, he writes : — 

" God's continued gift of health and strength, and the 
continued necessity of labor laid on me by Providence, I am 
compelled to regard, and am grateful to regard, as a divine 
command to continue work for the Master, according to 
the measure of power and opportunity he may bestow. 
The idea of withdrawal from active service while God 
gives me strength for labor, and of putting myself on the 
retired list as one emeritus, — that is, one having earned 
the right of repose because of work clone, — has not 
entered my thoughts." 

Although at this time his physical powers began to 
show signs of waning, the mental faculties still retained 
all their original clearness and vigor — a fact fully demon- 
strated by his subsequent sermons and contributions to 
periodicals. He was still, as during the previous years, 
constantly adding to his vast stores of manifold learning; 
and his resignation had been frequently urged by his own 
family, not chiefly as promotive of rest, but because his 
means, although not affluent, being enough for support 
without the aid of a salary, it was their cherished 
wish that the scholarship and thought which had been 
developing for so many years of tireless mental activity 
might, in the leisure following his resignation, be cast into 
a lasting form in some published works, historical or other- 
wise. But while the future still offered such hopes, he 


was fully conscious that the end was gradually drawing 
near. In his letter of resignation, he writes : — 

"As I now withdraw from a pastorate so long con- 
tinued, — for more than the lifetime of a generation, — 
extending through times and histories so varied and so 
eventful, and years that have borne us onward so far, a 
feeling of awe comes over me in the consciousness that 
the step I take, however I may interpret it, is a solemn 
step toward the sunset, and is in truth handing up the 
record of one half my earthly life and far the largest part 
of my manly years to the judgment of the great day. 
I take it with a deep sense of great unworthiness, of 
many shortcomings, that have required and ever received 
your kind indulgence ; and I do so with humble 
prayer for the application of that blood that was shed for 
the remission of sins, to whatever failures, defects, and 
offenses have marked the record before God, that they 
may be blotted from the Book of Remembrance, and 
appear not against me at the great judgment day ; that, 
together with you, I may at last appear among the jus- 
tified, purified and glorified, before the great white throne, 
through that great sacrifice, apart from which none of us 
mortals would dare hope to stand at last before God 
and be welcomed into life." 

While the years that now followed were relieved from 
the pressure of parish duties, and from the still greater 
weight of responsibility— in some degree personal — for 
the growth of the church, they continued to be, as they 
always had been, very much occupied and absorbed, and 
busy in manifold ways. 

He was often called to fill the pulpits of different 
churches in St. Louis and vicinity, and not infrequently 
came similar invitations from a distance. He loved to 



preach, as a means of touching and awakening souls, and 
in his summer sojourns his voice was heard familiarly, in 
the open-air service under the trees of Wequetonsing on 
the northern shores of Lake Michigan, and in the old 
"meeting-house" in Orwell, and by the plain fishermen 
on the seaboard of Maine. As already intimated, his pen 
was far from idle, and its contributions were in demand 
by the monthly magazines. Much of his time was given 
to reading in his old loved historical field, and also in 
the best current literature of the day, as it came out in 
the magazines. He gave himself more than formerly to 
visiting among his friends, and until shortly before his 
death made trips from time to time to Morris and Logans- 
port and to Ferrisburg ; and Monticello with its seminary, 
and that in Chicago, and the Congregational councils and 
conventions, drew him often away and occupied no little of 
his time and attention. 

In April, 1882, Dr. Post was in Chicago, when a munifi- 
cent donation was made by his old friend, Colonel C. G. 
Hammond, to the theological seminary, for the purposes 
of a library and library building ; and at the request of the 
seminary board- of directors Dr. Post made a response 
on their behalf, of which the following is the close : — 

"This day, I believe, will be memorable in coming time, 
and it is not too bold a dream to hear it sending the all- 
hail of the centuries gone to those hastening on to being. 
It will stand with the structure whose corner stone we lay 
to-day, as a landmark of the origin of an enduring power. 

" The doctrine of the correlation of forces teaches that 
all force is immortal ; once entering into being, it may be 
transmitted, it may be transmuted, but it never dies. The 
material may be transmuted to the ideal and spiritual, the 
perishable into the immortal. 

" So it is with this gift here to-day. A force is here- 


with imparted to, and inwrought with, eternal souls, and 
can never die — not in this world, not in the world to 
come. It strikes through the ages in Time's diorama and 
through cycles when time shall be but a remembered 
dream. It works on here beyond the date of our earthly 
being, and will continue to do so through ages when we 
have passed away. The hand that this clay bestows this 
gift shall stretch forth across the graves of centuries, to 
touch with new life-pulse the youth that here seeks the 
sources of larger and deeper truth, as it shall hand down 
to him in alcoves here to arise, the volume rich with the 
lore of the gone ages. Yes ! this gift is transmuted into 
immortal force, insomuch that it shall not perish when 
this material structure shall crumble to dust. The pyra- 
mids — mausoleums of buried Pharaohs — still look out on 
the eternal deserts ; but their voice is dumb as the dust 
of the mighty they enshrine — silent as the lone sand- 
wastes amid which they stand, witness of ages gone to 
oblivion. The Alexandrian Library perished ages ago, 
but it still lives immortal in the mind of man and the 
progress of the world. So shall it be here, and more ; the 
force here imparted to eternal souls shall live when all 
material things, 'the great globe itself and all that it 
inherit, shall dissolve.' Men and nations may come and 
go ; ' Chicagos, arising like magnificent exhalations, may 
pass away ' ; this time-show of material things may pass 
like the pageant of a dream, but the power here gener- 
ated shall be of the things that cannot die. It shall be 
an architective power in the new heavens and earth, 
and amid the sapphire structures of ' Jerusalem the 
Golden.' " 

In the summer of 1882 Dr. Post was in Logansport, — 
where he had shortly before arrived from St. Louis, — and 


in a letter of July 1 1 he refers to his trip and his meeting 
with friends on the cars : — 

" To tell the truth, I was in no mood to talk. As usual, 
the shadow of the home I left was upon me. . . . 

" I was talking with the memories of other years — 
with the sweet and loving faces I had just parted with — 
and with my life in St. Louis, — now looked on as a well- 
nigh past life, — and with those whose life's voyage con- 
nected with my own in years antedating the St. Louis 
history. Thoughts of a kindred cast are wont to travel 
with me a day or two when I leave home — as the sea- 
gulls follow the ship as it sails out from shore on to the 
deep ocean." 

September 18 of the same year he was east with his 
eldest daughter and visiting the kinsfolk in Orwell, as of 

" We visited Larabee's Point and explored the old home 
of long ago. And I related to Frances the reminiscences 
of the persons, scenes and places, suggested, though seen 
through mists of the far-off years of childhood and boy- 
hood, that they might abide with her when I shall be 
away. It was a memorable red-letter day, and I was glad 
that she was with me. It was like a revisit to life's morn- 
ing;. We then visited the Misses Hand, with whom we 
spent a delightful hour, though with a shade of sadness 
cast by memories that would come trooping up from the 
far-off years — of sweet friends that had faded away ; of 
the light of a beautiful youth that was giving place to the 
setting sun." 

In January, 1883, Dr. Post writes from St. Louis to his 
friend, Mrs. C. M. Mead, at Andover, making mention 
of his trip east, the summer previous, of his preaching 
four Sundays in the new "Old South," and lamenting 
his failure to visit Andover and hoping for "a reunion 



again in the old scenes in some good, sweet place and 
time coming — some Beulah in the sunset years, it may 
be ; or would it not be something better, in the land so 
near, yet so ' very far off' ? " 

He writes that during the summer he had visited 
Nantucket and vicinity, Bar Harbor, and the Champlain 
valley ; had attended the meeting of the American Board 
at Portland, the State Association at Omaha, Neb., and 
Forefathers' Day celebration at Jacksonville, 111. ; besides 
visiting the Freedman's University, for the purposes of 
an address, at Tougaloo in Mississippi — " having traveled 
since May, 6,000 or 7,000 miles." 

Referring in this letter to the " Andover agitation," 
and appointment of her new professors, he says : — 

" I believe there is aroused by all that has passed and 
the discussions following it a widening and deepening con- 
sciousness that some movement in the direction of the 
denounced and dreaded ' New Theology,' as it is called, 
is inevitable in the churches. I do not fear it, for I 
believe Christ is above it all and is surely leading on and 
guarding his church in what will ultimate in true and vital 
progress. I think after the present temporary agitation 
is lulled there will be found to have been achieved, 
through Providence overruling all, a toleration for a larger 
liberty of thought or of agnosticism in certain depart- 
ments of dogmatic theology." 

His mind reverts in the letter to old friends, so fast 
disappearing that he feels " sometimes quite alone." 

" I am becoming a sort of a monument of a past era. 
Few can keep me company in reminiscences of the earlier 
days. The situation at times grows to my thoughts very 
solemn. I seem more of another world than of this, and 
white hands are beckoning to me from the other shore. 
Yet I am very busy, variously. The living present inter- 


ests engross me — the condition of the church and the 
country ; the agitation and progress of thought. Kind 
and loving hands and hearts are around me ; I preach 
often and write much— lately have been drawn into 
reminiscent sketches. I keep up my sympathy with the 
young and with young life — feel still a heart-beat with 
the present, though resting much from its labor and pas- 
sion, and consciously walking in the shadows of eternity." 

August 8, 1883, Dr. Post was at Biddeford Pool on the 
seaboard of Maine, but with none of the "lineage" with 

" In my own quiet way I get along here very pleasantly, 
reading, writing, walking and fishing and sailing, in the 
cool and tonic ocean air. I live pretty much alone every- 
where, and in most places and circles find myself happier 
in so doing." 

The "Pool" had been the summer resort of Dr. Post 
and members of his family from year to year, till it had 
become a sort of seaside home. His zest for fishing, 
acquired in the old clays on "Lemon Fair" and "East 
Creek " and Lake Champlain, was still fresh and tire- 
less as that of a schoolboy on his holiday, whether he was 
off shore in a dory or out at sea with twenty fathoms 
of line. 

He often preached on the Sabbath, and his kindly face 
was familiar, and his name a household word, among the 
old and young of the village. 

Year after year in the Goldthwaite cottage down near 
the beach, " Dr. Post's room," as it was called, was ready 
for its occupant. Before its window in full view stretched 
the Atlantic, with its sails, white in the afternoon sun 
against the blue of the sea, or ghost-like as the ship of 
Harpswell dipping below the horizon. 

Habitually at the break of day he was out for a two- 


mile walk along the sands, as far as " Fortune's Rocks," 
with their agglomeration of bowlders and strange fowl. 
And he loved to be on shore when the moon shimmered, 
or the phosphorus gleamed, in the wash of the waves. 

In this chamber it was his wont to pass the evenings 
among his books and papers, in the company of his wife 
while she lived, and afterward much of the time alone, 
hearing only the sea, with its solemn cadences, like a 
Greek chorus voicing the lonely musings of night and tell- 
ing of vanished years and the mysteries of the hereafter. 

In September of this year (1883) Dr. Post and his 
eldest daughter are at Middlebury, guests of his old friend, 
Philip Batell, in the midst of the "beautiful land with the 
autumn glory descending upon it," and about setting out 
for a drive to Cornwall. "And the Adirondacks looking 
out of the cloud caps are calling us westward, as also are 
the graves of our fathers." 

In October Dr. Post is again at the house of Mr. 
Batell, and, sitting at the window overlooking the village 
green, he is thinking of old times and scenes. He 
writes : — 

" Forty-eight years ago to-day, in yonder now ivy- 
mantled church, I was married, and God gave me the 
richest, sweetest gift of my earthly life. . . . Four stood 
there then, but three are not, and I am looking out on the 
old church alone. And that brilliant and happy group 
that surrounded them — where are they? Most of them 
are beckoning to far another clime and temple — the land 
'very far off and yet so near.' Blessed be our God for 
the hope of the life immortal where the beautiful and 
loved dead are never dead ! " 



Semi-Centennial of the Congregational Church at Jacksonville, and Sermon 
by Dr. Post. — Article in The Anlover Review on "Transition Periods 
in Religious Thought." — Death of Mrs. Clara H. Young, and Letters 
to Mrs. C. M. Mead and Calvin Hulbttrd. 

OCTOBER 15, 1883, possessed peculiar interest, as the 
semi-centennial anniversary of the church in which 
Dr. Post made his first public profession of religion, and 
gave his first years to the ministry. 

In a sermon delivered on that occasion by Dr. J. M. 
Sturtevant these facts are referred to. Alluding to the 
pastors of the Jacksonville church, he said : — 

" Six still remain among the living, all except one in 
important pastorates. That one is not superannuated ; 
he has been called in the ripeness of his years and his 
wisdom to a sort of Congregational episcopate as the 
helper of all the churches situated between the two 
oceans. Let us thank God for that good providence by 
which he is permitted to be with us to-day. It is for 
many reasons most fit that he should be. In this church 
he first professed Christ before men. Not that he was 
here converted, but because he here first found a church 
ready to open its arms to receive him without imposing on 
him any other yoke than that of Christ. Here he was set 
apart to the Christian ministry ; here he began to preach 
the gospel of Christ, and here he labored for many years 
in the pastorate and as an honored professor in our col- 
lege, till he was called from us to an important pastor- 
ate in the then comparatively infant city of St. Louis. 




Would that I could rehearse the history of that pastorate ! 
With a spirit as mild and gentle as that of womanhood, 
he stood at his post of conflict and danger while the waves 
of sectarian, political, and proslavery strife rolled and 
dashed and broke around and upon him with a fury to 
appall the stoutest heart. He has his reward even in this 
life. Spiritually, 'he sees his children and his children's 
children, and peace upon Israel.' " 

The semi-centennial discourse, which has already been 
referred to, was preached by Dr. Post from the text in 
Revelation 1 : 17, 18 : "And he laid his right hand upon 
me, saying, ... I am the first and the last, and the Liv- 
ing one ; and I was dead, and . . . am alive for evermore, 
and I have the keys of death and of Hades." 

After a retrospect of the life and pastoral relations in 
Jacksonville and some reminiscences in his characteristic 
vein, Dr. Post said : — 

"Years have rolled on to the half century of your 
church life and I am again with you for the hour, on this 
height of outlook and review : am here ; but ourselves and 
the world — how changed ! and still hurrying like the 
clouds onward ; the companions of life's pathway in those 
far-gone years, lying along its borders in many a grave ; 
and our own steps verging under sunset clouds to the bor- 
ders of the shadowy and silent land. 

" Pause we here then for a moment on this height of 
history around these graves of the departed, with a tear 
of love and honor and sorrow for the good and the beau- 
tiful, the gifted, the honored and the saintly, whom we 
loved so well, and that return no more ; their forms once 
so full of life, with all its aspirations and passions and 
power, now sleeping in grove and on hillside in the sub- 
urbs of your city, so still and silent, alike under summer 
sun or winter snow and all the tumult of the unresting 


world ; or scattered wide and afar in other lands, still in 
the midst of life's battle or in the lonely grave. I seem 
to see them now, under the far-off skies of morning, aglow 
a^ain for a brief hour with mortal life and youth and 
hope, and then vanishing into the eternal past ; or rather, 
meseems, the vision recedes beyond the time-horizon to 
emerge again in the eternal light and beauty of the face 
of God. But whether imagined from the silent chambers 
waiting the great morning, or from homes in glory, they 
seem to me to keep rendezvous with us tc-day, and to 
breathe upon the hour the inspiration of courage and 
patience and love and hope. If so, what changes do they 
behold here, and in the great world since the days of 
their assembling in that upper chamber ! These fifty 
y ears — w hat have they wrought? what brought? what 
borne away forever ? That little church in the wilderness, 
born of principles eternal in the nature of man, and 
enacted and consecrated by Christ as organific forces in 
the architecture of his kingdom, transmitted from the 
apostles through martyr and heroic ages to the forefathers 
of the new world, and brought by them through the ocean 
to the eastern shores, and by their descendants to this 
wilderness ; that little church with its lifespring in these 
principles quickened by the breath of the Spirit of God, 
I see living on and diffusing those principles, for years 
under a cloud of misapprehension, misrepresentation and 
prejudice, until they crop out in history as plastic forces 
of institutions, laws, literature and science, and of social 
and civil, as well as religious, life ; till that little church is 
seen by history as the seed-plot of a mighty harvest ; an 
initial and infant factor of vast results in the genesis of 
magnificent states newly rising in the west. A little 
beacon with a few others, which could then be counted on 
the fingers of your hand, lit up the beginning in this wil- 


derness, and has kindled a train which, flashing from peak 
to peak, now shines on the waters of the southern gulf 
and the western ocean. Truly, of 'the handful of corn on 
top of the mountains, the fruit has shaken like Lebanon.' ' : 

Taking up the immediate theme of the text, the dis- 
course bears the hearer back to the apostle, " now old and 
worn and bowed, a desolate exile amid the lone sea." 

" And now it was the Lord's day, the day of the rising 
of Christ from the dead, and John was in the Spirit, 
under the power of Him who sees and can give His 
servant to see all things as they are, in a trance on 
which the vision of the world invisible to mortal eyes 
descends revealed. A voice, as of the mighty waves 
around, calls to him ; he turns, and lo ! a form of awful 
glory and majesty stands before him, before which his 
mortal nature reels and faints and falls as dead. And lo! 
a hand is laid upon him ; the hand, now sceptered with 
universal dominion, but the same that touched the poor 
leper and the blind eyes, with which he took little 
children in his arms and blessed them, and which was 
nailed for sinners to the cruel cross, is laid upon the hoary 
head of the prostrate disciple as tenderly and lovingly as 
when that head with its locks of youth was lying on his 
bosom, with the words of reassurance in our text : ' Fear 
not ; I am the first and the last : I am he that liveth, and 
was dead, and am alive for evermore, and have the keys 
of hell and of death. I am the Lord of life and the 
kingdom of death — the world of the departed.' 

" To the apostle, and to every church in every age, 
Christ's words come : — 

. . . " ' I love thee from everlasting — from the first to the 
last, unto the eternity of eternities. I guard and keep thee 
through all changes of all worlds. Nothing can separate 
from my love, not things present, nor things to come, not 



life, nor the dark realm of death, nor height above all 
height where I now am throned, nor the depth of the 
eternal abyss of which I hold the keys ; not all contingen- 
cies or possibilities of everlasting being ; no fallen angel 
nor principalities nor powers of falsehood or hate can 
sever thee from my love. Sooner may they tear a star 
from the sky than pluck thee from my hand. I throw 
around thy weakness the shield of my everlasting 
strength, of my omniscience, omnipresence, eternity. . . . 
" ' Fear not the great and the mighty, the Domitians or 
Neros, the rulers of the darkness of this world. Lo ! I 
am the first and the last, origin and end, of the courses 
of nature and history ; I enfold all forces and events, all 
causes and effects, energies and objects, the laws of nature 
and the personnel of history, in the compass and grasp of 
my eternal being. In me, by me, and for me all things 
became and all consist. In me, empires, systems and 
worlds, come and go ; constellations flash out or fade 
away, stars rise and set, and the heavens roll. Lo ! I am 
King of kings and Lord of lords in all worlds, those of light 
and life, or in the dark kingdom of death and Hades. . . . 
" ' Fear not the seeming slow progress of the kingdom 
of truth, the seeming delay of the coming of the Lord, 
the long eclipses of the Sun of righteousness. Lo ! I am 
not slack concerning my promises. Lo ! all the ages are 
mine ; a thousand years with me are but as yesterday. 
Long is the lifetime of God. Ever watchful is his 
husbandry. Nothing truly good or beautiful perishes. 
There is no baffled, abortive virtue. There is no with- 
drawing, no forgetting, no wearying, in the work of his 
kingdom. Lo ! he that bringeth out the host of heaven 
by numbers, and calleth the stars by name, may forget to 
summon Arcturus or Orion in their season, or the Pleiades 
to their places in the sky, sooner than he may forget a 


single soul that trusts him, or withdraw from leading on 
the armies of Light to triumph. . . . 

" ' Neither fear for the loved and the sainted dead, lest 
they and their work have been lost, when they disappeared 
in the shadow of death. Lo ! I am the ever living One, 
the Victor over death and the grave ; I am the Lord of the 
world of the departed ; I open and shut its doors at my 
pleasure. Nothing good and lovely shall ever descend 
into the "kingdom of perpetual night." He that liveth 
and believeth on me shall never die. Lo ! I am he that 
was dead, and am alive for evermore. By dying I con- 
quered death. I came forth victor from the grave, and 
none of mine shall be held prisoners in its dark confines. 
Because I live, they shall live also. I keep the keys of 
the abyss, and not of the abyss only, but of the shining 
city, which I open and none shutteth evermore. I guard 
mine own, and I watch over their slumbers of the tomb. 
I hold them ever in memory, though the oblivion of 
uncounted ages and the dust of a thousand generations 
cover them. Through all the effacements of time or 
eternity I keep their names engraven on my heart, and I 
will that they shall be with me where I am. I shall surely 
bring them forth in the waking of the eternal morning. 
" ' Fear not, thou penitent and believing one, for thy 
sin or its power or its curse, for the scourge of conscience 
or for the terrors of the judgment day. I have died for 
thee, for thy pardon and redemption from sin and its 
doom, from its remorse and its fear ; I have risen again 
for thy renewal and glorification ; and I bind all things to 
my throne. I compel sorrow and pain and even evil 
itself to work for the salvation of those I have bought 
with my blood. To them I stanch all sorrows, I quell all 
fear, wipe away all tears ; I bolt the abyss, I unbar the 
gates of Light.' . . .. 


" Such, according to Christ's annunciation, is his being, 
nature and power ; and such are his relations to his 
church. It follows that the church truly and supremely 
loyal to him is in eternal safeguard ; is victor over death ; 
leaves not its dead in the grave ; has eternal effectuating 
of all its true work, and has eternal life. Grounded, for- 
tressed, garrisoned, in Christ, it shall be conqueror over 
evil in this world and over the gates of Hades. . . . 

"The true church is Christocentric. It centralizes 
and crystallizes Christ's name. In its system all things 
relate to him. By him they are tested, gauged, ranked, 
and estimated ; with emphasis on different aspects of 
the one, manifold Christ, differing with differing stand- 
points of different ages and countries, it yet ever con- 
fesses to him as the one Lord, ' the same yesterday, 
to-day, and forever.' As the astronomer from different 
standpoints of science and discovery would ever be look- 
ing at the same old heavens, though perpetually transfig- 
ured into infinite diversity of ever new beauty and glory, 
so the true church, with whatever changes from progress- 
ive knowledge and culture, ever confesses to one supreme 
and only Head, with Liberty, Truth and Love, as minis- 
ters of his light and life, and the organic builders of his 

The sermon went on to show the power of the Trinity 
of Liberty, Truth and Love, in the history of the church, 
following somewhat the train of thought pursued in the 
sermon on " Our Country as a Factor in the Kingdom of 

" As I close," said the speaker, " a solemn thought presses 
which drives me for refuge to the final clause of our text : 
' I am the ever Living one ; I was dead, but am alive for- 
ever more, and have the keys of death and Hades ' ; a 
clause without which all earthly triumphs were but a 


funeral procession, and the banner blazoned with victory 
at last only droops its folds over the grave. Across the 
mystery of our onward march there lies one solemn, cer- 
tain fact, one vast shadow, which we mortals call death. 
Fifty years hence, and however bright or grand the march 
of the years of the twentieth century may be, we shall most 
of us be lying under that shadow, to mortal vision among 
the vanished, the passed away. 

"But is it truly so? our souls inquire. Is this mortal 
vision all ? Ends the grandest life-hymn only in a dirge, 
wailing off into the eternal silence over the loved and the 
lost that return no more ? 

" Who that has fallen suddenly on some old letter, and 
whose eyes have been running over the lines traced by a 
hand long since vanished, yet seeming still quick with the 
thought and passion, the genius and love of the far-gone 
years pulsating through them, has not been startled to 
ask himself, Where is now all that wealth of life, being, 
faculty ? 

"What is it now? What has become of it? Is it van- 
ished away forever ? Has it gone down to the grave, to 
come up no more ? . . . 

" And here now, brethren, how on us presses that 
question in such an hour as this, with its memory of half 
a century full of names of love and honor and its outlook 
to our own personal future. Oh, the outreach in such an 
hour, of a human soul, its love, its longing, its hope, into 
the world of the departed ! On what can it fasten, on what 
rest, but on One who has the keys of Death and Hades ? 
How glad at this time the voice of him that sitteth high 
above all height, at the right hand of God — the voice 
that was heard of John in Patmos : ' Lo ! I am he that 
liveth, and was dead, and am alive forever more, and have 
the keys of death and Hades.' Lo ! here is the declara- 


tion that lifts us forever above the death shade. Our loved 
and sainted dead are not lost. They wait us beyond the 
gulf. Neither they nor their works, nor aught true and 
lovely, shall ever be lost from the universe of life. 

" Not in gloom, then, nor in fear or sorrow, but sing- 
ing, we go down into the valley of sunset, into the shadow 
of death, and lo ! there is no sunset valley, no shadow of 
death. The cloud and darkness are transfigured into the 
jasper and chrysolite, of the New Jerusalem, the starry 
propylaca of the City of Light. And the gates shall not 
be shut at all by day, and there shall be no night evermore. 

' O City of our God, so near and yet so far ! 
Lo ! on the borders of this shadowy land 
We pilgrims of perpetual sorrow stand, 
Our hands outreaching to the far-off shore. . . . 

Very far off its marble cities seem ; 

Very far off; beyond our sensuous dream ; 

Its woods unruffled by the wild wind's roar ; 

Yet doth the ravening surge howl to its very verge. 

One moment, and we breathe within the evermore. 

Those we have loved and lost, long, long ago, 
Dwell in these citi<=o far from mortal woe, 
Eternal peace have they, God wipes all tears away. 
They drink the river of Life that flows forevermore. 

Thither we hasten through these regions dim, 

But lo ! the white wings of the Seraphim 

Gleam in the sunset. Lo ! on that happier shore 

Our lightened souls shall know the life and love of long ago, 

And shades of sorrow, sin, and death shall flee forevermore.'" 

In the June number of The Andover Review of 1884 
was a contribution on " Transition Periods in Religious 

" Such periods, welcome or unwelcome, coveted or 


dreaded, are sure to come, coming on the world like a 
barometric storm, cyclonic at times in both suddenness 
and force, or like the slow and silent approach of spring, 
or winter, if you will ; still it is in the ordinance of nature 
and the order of life that they should come. . . . 

" Change of truth in some regard, as of aspect or 
relation, form or essence, or of new analyses, syntheses, 
developments, — novelty, in some form, — seems essential 
to its sustained life-force. God passes before us ever the 
same, yet eternally new as the ever-rolling skies. . . . 

" The life of the world goes on by pulse and paroxysm 
rather than by continuous uniform stress. The transition 
period is that of long-hidden and silently working forces, 
suddenly coming to outburst or outflash, or, to change the 
figure, of floods, long, and it may be slowly, accumulating, 
then suddenly breaking their barrier and rushing into 
rapids. . . . 

"Transition periods are those of great opportunity as 
well as of great dangers ; they are pivotal and plastic for 
the issues of a vast future. They often determine the 
direction, quality, and consequence of religious thought 
for a cycle of centuries. . . . 

" Ordinarily the transition periods are not difficult of 
recognition. . Often we are conscious of their approach as 
of something abnormal and bodeful in the air, as the chill 
of the iceberg on the sea or the hot pulse of the cyclone 
on the atmosphere. There is a murmur in the deeps or on 
the heights as of the coming earthquake or tempest. . . . 

" The Church cannot well ignore extensive, persistent 
and pronounced tendencies to transition movements, from 
whatever causes arising. If morbid, capricious, irrational, 
they point to diseases it may be vital to recognize and, if 
practical, to remedy. But not uncommonly they indicate 
some real, grave cause imbedded in its theology, some 


incongruity or conflict with the human reason and moral 
consciousness of the world ; an incongruity and conflict' 
which must be relieved, or it will imperil the faith of 
man — at first, it may be, of the thinkers, but, subse- 
quently, of the million. . . . 

" The danger is, lest on the appearance of the signs of 
change, in the first alarm the impulse should be toward 
immediate, arbitrary, stringent repression. No chapters 
in human history are more opprobrious than those which 
record such attempts ; none more disastrous and ulti- 
mately more hopeless. . . . 

" If the movement lies deep in reason and Christian 
consciousness, the attempted repression will, at the most, 
only effect a surface arrest or reflux, as futile ultimately 
as the storm surge against the profound tides of the 
ocean. Repression, failing, tends to a stronger and more 
serious outbreak. The dammed-up river accumulates a 
mass for a mightier overflow. The peaceful stream 
breaks into rapids or a devastating inundation. . . . 

" But while transition is to be regarded as in itself 
neither hostility nor disaster, yet we are not to forget such 
is the contexture of our thoughts, wrought through time 
and custom, that change in any single article in the 
scheme of old and time-honored beliefs not infrequently 
imperils a whole system of correlated and associated 
truths. . . . 

" There is danger, often, of slaughtering many truths 
in killing one falsehood ; of uprooting much wheat in 
extirpating one tare. There is hardly any false belief 
but becomes in time organically inwrought with many 
true ones. . . . 

" It may be asked, ' By what criterion shall we know 
that transition is true progress ? ' . . . You will know it 
by its trend ; that will be Christward. Its system of 


truth and life will be Christocentric. Out on the drifting 
deeps our anchorage, cynosure, and goal will be the eter- 
nal Christ ; ' the same yesterday, to-day, and forever ' : for- 
ever the same, yet ever new, with everlasting unfoldings 
of nature and relations and new revealings into the infi- 
nite, ministering in the eternal unveilings of his beauty 
the endless novelty that attracts and quickens to endless 

The second day of February, 1885, marks the death, 
after a brave struggle for years with the progress of 
disease, but at the last after a brief illness, of Mrs. Clara 
H. Young, the third daughter of Dr. Post. 

She was called away from her three little children at a 
time when her care seemed indispensable, and her loss 
was felt not merely in the home life, but through a wide 
circle of loving friends and in various literary and chari- 
table undertakings. 

Of the place occupied by this dearly-loved one in the 
household, of her intellectual gifts and bright, brave spirit, 
of her thousand winning ways and charms of person and 
character, it would be idle to attempt any extended 
mention here. They are qualities which will be cherished 
long and lovingly in memory, but which can find no 
adequate expression in words. 

To Mrs. Mead Dr. Post writes: — 

" She passed in the prime of a rich, beautiful woman- 
hood, full of the opening fruits and brilliant possibilities 
of a widely-varied beneficence in which God seemed lead- 
ing her in many spheres. God had richly endowed her 
with potencies by which mind touches mind in the varied 
circles in which she moved. She was ever sweet, 
womanly and loving, as she was noble, and her sun went 
down as it was climbing toward noon, and we can only 


say : ' Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy 
sight.' " 

To Calvin Hulburd he writes : — 

"Your consolations to me in my great sorrow are 
rational and Christian. Yet He who wept with the 
mourners at Bethany will pardon our human tears over 
the loved and loving, the beautiful and gifted dead. 

"There are things no words can describe beforehand, 
and which none can utter after their coming. It is not 
want of trust or submission to the heavenly Father, not 
from reason or philosophy or the absence of them, but 
from nature itself, which God has given us — nature stretch- 
ing out her arms with unutterable fondness and longing 
down into the grave — down into the 'nevermore,' after 
the fleeting, vanishing forms of the loved dead. . . . 

" I cannot tell you what a wealth of love and hope and 
joy and promise for this world has gone from my life. . . . 
I cannot make it seem real. It seems surely as some 
sad dream from which I must soon awake. But morning 
and evening come and go. The suns have been rising 
and setting now three weeks to-morrow since she left 
us, and the darling one that has been for many years 
wrought into all my life, who has been my housekeeper 
since her dear mother died, she appears nowhere beneath 
the sun. 

" Crowds pass below my window unceasingly, but her 
face is not among them. 

" I start at a gentle tap at my study door, in the 
moment's thought to see her sweet, bright smile as of 
wont. I see indeed some of the stricken household with 
the shadows of a great heartbreak on the brow, or the 
wistful faces of the sweet little motherless ones looking 
up to me pleading with the unutterable love and pity 
which are in my heart. ... I look and I know the kfeam 


is not to come to pass ; until the earth and the sea give 
up their dead she will not return. 

" So I sit in my silent study, sad but not disconsolate ; 
not murmuring. I know that God is behind all the cloud, 
and his name is eternally Love. I thank him for the inex- 
pressibly precious gift enjoyed so long and the hope that 
follows it to the blessed heavens, and for the heavens 
grown more attractive and beautiful, and for the assurance 
of a reunion beyond the storm and surge of this mortal 
life on the shores of the land of peace where farewells are 
never heard more." 



Address at unveiling of the Blair Monument, and at the funeral of Samuel 
T. Glover. — Articles in The Andover Review on the " Life of William 
Lloyd Garrison," and on "The Things which Cannot be Shaken." 

IN 1885 (May 21) an undertaking long in progress 
was accomplished in the unveiling of the statue of 
General Frank P. Blair, which, from its site at the 
entrance of Forest Park, now looks down the broad 
avenue leading to the city of St. Louis. 

General Blair was an old personal friend of Dr. Post, 
and members of the family of the former had long been 
connected with the First Congregational Church. Ten 
years before the event here spoken of, in the presence of 
a great concourse of citizens and the veterans of the 
First Missouri Volunteer Infantry, the funeral services of 
their old commander had been held at Tenth and Locust 
streets. The address of Dr. Post then delivered, and 
which was, says The Republican, " extemporaneous and 
of rare eloquence," appeared in the local press the day 

Dr. Post, at the request of General Blair's family, was 
selected by the committee in charge of the ceremonies to 
deliver the principal oration at the unveiling of the monu- 
ment, but found himself unequal to the physical exertion 
of speaking so long in the open air and in the blustering 
weather which prevailed that afternoon, and the oration 
which had been prepared by him was not in fact deliv- 
ered. It was, however, treated as a part of the program 


and published in the pamphlet containing the speeches 
and describing the ceremonies of the occasion. 

The address was something more than a mere personal 
memorial of General Blair. His life had been a most 
potent factor, in guiding and determining the issues of 
the slavery conflict in Missouri preceding the war, as 
well as later on in keeping the state in the Union ; and 
the oration accordingly traces in outline the progress of 
the Benton and Blair Freesoil party in Missouri, and the 
struggle between the nation and the States' Rights party, 
as well as the coup de main for the military control of St. 
Louis, and the subsequent career of Blair in the field and 
in political life. 

The following is from the opening of the address : — 

" Woe to the people that will not listen, that shuts its 
ears, to its heroic or martyr ages. Such a people is in 
moral decay. The age of glory is surely setting, though 
it be in an age of gold. 

" Of heroic memories and examples, it is timely that we 
begin to gather in the firstlings of the moral harvest of 
our civil war — the growth from so many graves of our 
best and bravest. The years for the calmer and clearer 
reading of that terrible drama are coming on, while the 
personnel of it, meantime, is fast drifting into the realm 
of myth and tradition. The glorious fugitive forms 
require to be fixed before they fly forever. The landscape 
is with vaster and stronger eminence' and outline, but 
lying in dimmer light : the mountain peak more emergent 
into the empyrean, but from depths of thickening haze 
and shadow. 

" The war storm, with its dark mass and lurid flash, has 
drifted to the far horizon. It is now about one fifth of 
a century since the shock and shudder of our civil war. 
Nearly a generation has gone since the blue and the gray 


have been lying down together at rest, ' sleeping on to the 
judgment day.' 

" From the passion of war, of victory or defeat, of the 
march and the battle, from the rapture and the agony of 
the strife, how still they sleep ! The grief of the living, 
over marble mausoleum, or inquiring vainly of moun- 
tain or wilderness for their dead, has had its course ; 
fresh tears have ceased to bedew the moss-grown grave, 
for that the fountain is dried or the mourner has come to 
lie down with the mourned in the slumbers of the tomb, 
or sorrow has grown to a love and honor akin to a solemn 
and mighty gladness over the beauty and glory of heroic 
deaths. The war storm laid, time has been bringing 
calmer and kindlier judgments and a larger charity to 
both victors and vanquished. These may not obliterate 
principles, yet the charitable and generous judgments of 
history will remember that the epochs which this monu- 
ment commemorates were torn with partisan passion and 
convulsion, which for the time seemed to confound our 
normal thought and reason, to unsettle the primal princi- 
ples of our political and social order. But the era of 
madness being over, war having exscinded the desperate 
and deadly malady with the surgery of the sword, again, 
like the eagle that has 'mewed its mighty youth,' our one 
united nation is exulting along its sunward way." 

Of General Blair the following character-picture will be 
readily recognized by those who know him : — 

" The old Ironsides of the Revolution seemed drifting 
pilotless upon the rocks, and picaroons and mutineers 
were plundering her chests and distributing her cargo. 

" It was a time when in Missouri a master mind was 
wanted, that clearly comprehended the tremendous issue 
and was resolute and fearless to meet it ; that could not 
be deluded, intimidated, bribed or seduced ; whose sagac- 


ity and intrepidity and patriotism commanded widely the 
confidence of intelligent and loyal men ; one who was 
vigilant and wary as well as brave, fertile of resource, 
patient of labor, reticent and ready of counsel, prompt and 
fearless in action. Such a man was the immediate 
supreme exigency of the hour. Such a man at such time 
was worth armies ; and such a man for such a time, to an 
eminent degree, was Francis P. Blair. Widely and per- 
sonally known and knowing amid both parties in the 
state from his previous career, largely conversant with 
affairs in Washington, and after the inauguration of 
Lincoln, and especially after the appointment of his 
brother Montgomery to a place in the cabinet, in the con- 
fidence of the national government, he was eminently the 
man for the hour. Emergencies ever found him ready. 
At the beginning of the war, he, beyond others, under- 
stood what it meant, its spirit and purpose, its audacity 
and its ambition ; he gauged its trend, its mass, its exi- 
gencies ; he clearly read its problem and penetrated it with 
practical conviction and purpose. Quick to read through 
tangled complications of political interests and charac- 
ters, and to forecast the resultant issue, he was seldom 
taken by surprise, or suffered ' the native hue of resolu- 
tion ' to be 'sicklied o'er by the pale cast of thought.' 
Untrammeled by intrigue, superior to fear or favor, while 
others curiously speculated, he had reached imperative, 
practical principles and convictions; while they doubted 
and hesitated, he acted; while they were parleying and 
debating, with him the thing was done. Unperturbed 
amidst threats, dangers and disasters, quick of eye and 
brain and hand, sagacious and wise in tact and in that 
highest prudence that recognized the fit time of action, 
he saw when utter daring was the highest discretion and 
audacity alone was safety. 


The subjoined passage is from the close : — 
" Should the storm cloud ever again darken our skies — 
which may heaven forefend — and passion and party frenzy 
strike at the life of the nation, still may we hope that 
heroism and patriotism may gather impulse to loftier dar- 
ing and sacrifice for liberty and fatherland, as the youth 
of coming times may look on that heroic form and face 
placed here as type of the heroic days, over the growing 
magnificence of our beautiful city. So shall the Amer- 
ican mind be inspired to produce new heroes ever for the 
new exigencies of the future. And should there ever be 
required another Curtius to plunge for the life of the land 
into another Curtian gulf, or another Horatius Codes to 
stop with his own person the flight of recreant or panic- 
stricken citizens ; or even a new Iphigenia to propitiate 
by her own sweet life the rage of adverse tempest sweep- 
ing our nation from its course ; or should another Arnold 
of Winkelried be demanded to gather in his own bosom 
hostile spears in order to break the phalanx of our coun- 
try's foes, and open 'a way to liberty,' we trust, with this 
statue standing forth with the glorious army of martyrs 
from the past in the light of coming times, the self- 
devoting ones shall not be wanting in the hour of trial to 
place themselves between the country and the country's 
clanger, coming from whatever quarter, from without or 
within, from foreign invasion or internal faction, from plot- 
ting among the few or demagogism among the many, from 
fraud or falsehood, from treachery or violence, from the 
corruption of the one or the million ; and that, through 
the favor of God, over all the glory of our empire shall 
be the inspiration and defense of heroic memories ever- 

"And now, in this hope and prayer, amid the sugges- 
tions of this occasion, and the scenes and events called 


up in review, in vision of the awful tragedy, the almost 
national shipwreck, through which we have passed, look- 
ing back over the red gulf wandered over by the shadows 
of the heroic dead, mingling with those of mighty woes 
and sorrows, — a red gulf where sleep half a million of 
our best and bravest, for the maintenance of our national 
life forever cut off from the light of the sun, — I feel still 
the pulse of mighty rapids along which our country is 
being borne, with sounds in our ears, whether of the 
nearer cataract, or of an ocean stream bearing on to the 
great sea. I feel awed as in the presence of the solemn 
mystery of a future of vast hope and vast fear. As we 
stand here to-day, not alone, but girt round with a glorious 
cloud of witnesses, the wise and good, the gifted, the 
beautiful, the brave and the saintly, that have wrought 
and suffered for the life of the land in other days, but now 
are fast drifting into the eternal past, I am borne under 
the shadow of that throne in whose timeless date stars 
and galaxies rise and set, and earthly systems and empires 
come and go like ephemerides in the setting sun. In that 
presence, I pass from an atmosphere of uncharitable senti- 
ment and severe condemnatory judgment toward those 
from whom I may have differed in my mortal years, to 
feelings of pity and sympathy towards those implicated 
with me in the weakness and frailty of this life, as I think 
how soon we shall lie down together in the dust : and I 
look for that which in this scheme of change binds eter- 
nity to time, and earthly empire to the eternal throne." 

In the year previous to the unveiling of the Blair 
monument, January, 1884, occurred the death of Samuel 
T. Glover, himself as conspicuous in the history of this 
state for his unflinching patriotism in her sore time of 
need, as for his standing at the bar. He was the personal 


friend of General Blair and co-worker and adviser with 
him through all the momentous struggle for Missouri in 
1 86 1. The relations of Mr. Glover with Dr. Post through 
all their acquaintance were kind and affectionate as those 
of a brother. At his home Dr. Post was a frequent visitor, 
whose coming was welcomed by all the household. 

The funeral of Mr. Glover was attended by members of 
the Supreme Court, who came from Jefferson City for that 
purpose, by the bench and bar of St. Louis, who were 
present in a body, and by many leading men of the city 
from different walks of life. The services were conducted 
by Dr. Post, and short addresses were made by him and 
by Rev. Dr. Leighton, an old friend of Mr. Glover's 

Dr. Post shared in the universal regret at the loss to 
the community of a man of the kingly endowments and 
public spirit and sterling worth of Mr. Glover; but he 
also felt most deeply the personal loss to himself in the 
private walks of life of a most valued friend. 

"I feel little fitted," he said, "to be the organ of a 
public utterance to-day, or to be the voice of the public 
love and honor and sorrow for him whose lifeless form we 
bear at this time to the mansions of rest The stroke 
comes too near me personally. It strikes a friend of 
many years; if not lifelong, one of more than the life- 
time of a generation, and one loved by me beyond the 
ordinary measure of friendship." 

The address referred to the legal talents of Mr. Glover 
and his standing at the bar and to his eminent services to 
the country; and it bore witness to the noble and gen- 
erous qualities which made him so beloved in the relations 
of home life and in his circle of friends. After touching 
upon the shining qualities and career of his dead friend, 
Dr. Post said : — 


" We stand here wailing as over a lost life. But is that 
life-force perished ? Is its imprint on the page of time 
erased forever ? That loved material type, goes it down 
to the grave to come up no more ? That brain, with its 
chambers of wondrous imagery, its godlike faculty of 
reason, its 'thoughts that wander through eternity,' is it 
forever sealed ? That heart, with its throb of generous 
and heroic impulse, is it forever hushed ? Those lips, 
shall they open with the charm of persuasion, the flash of 
logic, or the music of truth and love, no more ? Is all the 
opulence of such a life perished ? No ! there is that in 
its impress on the world that shall never pass away. 
Man's words and deeds and spirit live after him. That 
life will pulse on in the veins of his children and his 
children's children, a power for good through coming 
years ; and when human memories perish, and the foot- 
steps of human love and honor and sorrow shall cease to 
visit his tomb, when the mourners and the mourned of 
to-day shall lie down together in the chambers of silence, 
still in the great electric conduction of thought and senti- 
ment from mind to mind and age to age, it shall live on 
incorporate, if unrecognized, with the action and feeling 
of the world in the currents of the future, till time itself 
shall lapse. Nor then, nor ever, shall it die. In the eter- 
nal memory of God, in eternal consequence, and in the 
eternal judgment, our mortal lives shall live on immortal. 

" This immortality of action and destiny invests every 
human life with a solemn significance. This thought 
pressing on its close makes life's finished record awful — a 
record forever. Writ in joy or sorrow, in honor or shame, 
in virtue or sin alike, what is writ is writ, unto eternal 
registry and eternal adjudication when the books shall be 
opened to be closed no more. 

"Before that throne of judgment, in the light of the 


all-pure One, we know no son of Adam may stand, how- 
ever loved or honored, in the strength of his own purity. 
One alone is disclosed to mortal man almighty to save in 
that awful arbitrament. . . . 

" Never shall I forget the lesson imparted to me when, 
in the days of my youth, sitting alone on a grassy mound 
in the then quiet seclusion of the shades of Mount Ver- 
non, I looked for the first time on the tomb of Washington, 
and read on it no sculptured trophy or triumphal legend 
of that great life, but simply the text, ' I am the Resur- 
rection and the Life : he that believeth in me, though 
he were dead, yet shall he live : and he that liveth, and 
believeth in me shall never die.' Here, dear friends, at 
this hour, is all our comfort, all our hope. Earth fades 
away ; earthly fames drift off into the everlasting silences : 
in Him alone the buried majesty and power and genius of 
the Westminsters of the world at last can rest ; in Him 

The Andover Review of May, 1886, contained a review 
from the pen of Dr. Post of the Life of William Lloyd 
Garrison, and in the December number of that periodical 
appeared his last contribution to the press. This was an 
article entitled "The Things which Cannot be Shaken." 

It was the last, as it was among the most significant, 
of his publications. 

..." The life of the world must go on with endless 
agitation and change in the phenomenal, together with a 
perpetual outreach to grasp what is substantively change- 
less and eternal." 

Difficulties in unessentials presented by the " higher 
criticism " may be flanked by Christianity and its march 
not thereby retarded. To such criticisms " it is legitimate 
to show, by way of answer, that, however curious, im- 



portant or interesting, they may be, they do not touch the 
life of our Christian faith, and have no claim to arrest 
Christian evangelism or belief." . . . 

The proper quest of mankind " is not simply after 
truths that are imperishable ; but . . . after those which 
are potent to grasp and hold human belief. . . . Our 
inquiry is for a form of Christian truth and evidence com- 
petent not for angels and coming ages, but for men and 
those of our own time," and for " a method of Christian 
proof which is accessible, apprehensible, and practicable 
for ordinary men ; within the compass of their time, 
opportunity, and capacity of investigating and judging." 

And the truth not to be shaken is that which "carries 
with it the life question of Christianity. . . . Throwing 
down the gage of mortal combat on mistaken or immaterial 
or inadequate issues suggested by such criticism is likely 
to prove disastrous in various ways. Victory on such issue 
does not establish the truth of Christianity, while a defeat 
is regarded as a defeat and overthrow of Christianity 
itself, and that which may be at the utmost only a capture 
of a redoubt will be looked at as the fall of the citadel ; 
or the retreat from the skirmish line found indefens- 
ible, will be chronicled as an abandonment of the 
campaign. . . . 

"There are two modes of Christian proof: one leads 
through a vast circuit of literature, Biblical, historical, 
philological and philosophical ; is mainly apologetic, defen- 
sive, or negative ; widely complicated and concatenated, 
accessible and traversable only to the few ; for the most 
part cold, distant. The other is positive, immediate, 
direct, open to the million ; aggressive, imperative, per- 
sonal, full of living force, outflashing and glowing as the 
sun. One begins with a book and a system to evolve and 
prove a person ; the other with a person who proves him- 


self, then tries, tests, proves books and systems, and arms 
what he validates with divine sanction and the authority 
of the guiding and illuminating Spirit of Truth. One 
begins with a letter : the other with a life ; one with a 
chainwork of long-drawn inductions and interdependent 
propositions : the other with direct moral intuitions or 
inductions so immediate, necessary and flashlike, that 
they have the force of intuitions." 

As to the former method of proof, " when we look at 
the vastness of the field and the circuit of investigation 
required for the integrity of this argument, where often 
the strength of the whole chain amounts only to that of 
the feeblest link, we cannot forbear pausing and inquiring 
whether the way of faith unto salvation necessarily lies 
through this extended curriculum of erudition, and the 
settlement of questions so far beyond the time, opportu- 
nity, and competency of the vast millions to whom the 
gospel of salvation came ; whether Christ, who calls upon 
all men to come unto himself and be saved, and especially 
proclaims, as marking his mission from God, his gospel to 
the poor, can only be approached like the mystic image in 
some Egyptian temple, through a long avenue of sphinxes, 
each propounding their enigmas, which we must read or 
die. . . . 

" It is under the uplifted, personal Christ that the 
salvation of men and the new birth of the world is to go 
onward. So it was in the first ages of Christianity. It 
was under this vision and argument, not through erudi- 
tion, philosophy, or bibliological or historic lore, that the 
arts and arms and empire of paganism went down. So it 
has been in the ages since, and so it will be in those to 
come ; above all storms of change, God shining in the 
face of Jesus Christ, the ever-unsetting sun. . . . 

"The kingdom of Christ must stand or fall with its 
Founder. . . . 


" The ' higher criticism ' may allege what difficulties 
you please in the Old Testament Scripture, but discuss 
and decide on them as it will, there still confronts it the 
question ever demanding logical answer, 'Jesus of Naza- 
reth — who, and whence, and what was he ? ' . . . 

" The New Testament record . . . has so carried with 
it the general trust of men in it as an honest and substan- 
tially veritable history that its portraiture of its central 
personage may be regarded as accepted in its main linea- 
ments as real and true by the general consensus of man- 
kind, and that the Christ-idea diffused by it through the 
ages may be regarded as a true historic face looking down 
like the sun in heaven on the world's mind, swaying its 
tides and mirroring itself in its deeps. . . . 

"The deepest, strongest, most instantaneous and uni- 
versal of all forms of knowledge and belief is the intui- 
tional. . . . To deny or decry our intuitions is to deny or 
decry all reasonings and all science, as all must begin or 
proceed with postulating their truthfulness. They may be 
at times abused, may be deceived, may sometimes play us 
false, may require to be educated. So may the eye ; 
still I must see with it, or not at all ; it may require the 
achromatic lens as well as optic power, yet I have to rely 
on it in order to correct its own mistakes. So to reject 
or discredit intuitions, because of possibility of abuse or 
mistake, is to make all mental structure impossible, and to 
renounce faculties and methods through which errors or 
abuses may be detected or remedied. 

" These intuitions are the first elements and factors 
in all science, intellectual or moral ; and our moral intui- 
tions are as valid and as imperative, in their sphere, on 
belief and action, as those of the pure intellect ; and they 
relate to things as real and abiding. 

..." Each science is to be built up on its own dis- 


tinctive principia : and in that of religion, the principia 
are our moral sentiments or intuitions directed to moral 
objects or interests, and in Christianity especially and 
primarily to the person of Christ. . . . 

"Christ is self-proved to us, not only by his congruity 
with our moral tastes and judgments, but also with our 
perpetual moral wants. So long as we are conscious of 
sin and sorrow and death, and a need and longing for for- 
giveness, purity and moral restoration, with the gift of 
immortality and eternal life, so long will man's outreach- 
ing sense of eternal want lead him, disappointed and 
despairing from all other outlook, to turn to Christ with 
the outcry of Peter, ' Whither else shall we go ? Thou 
only hast the words of eternal life.' " 

Christ will ever stand as " the perfect Ideal, ever shap- 
ing souls to a nobler, loftier, diviner manhood, and wear- 
ing all the attributes predicated of himself as the Christ, 
the Son of the living God, interpreted to their full scrip- 
tural import ; an Atlantaean figure bearing up the entire 
system of Christianity and glorious with consummate 
revelation of God." 



Signs of the coming end. — Visit to Des Moines at meeting of the American 
Board. — Fatal Illness and Death in December, 1886. 

AT the period to which this narrative has now been 
brought, signs of the coming end began to thicken. 
The letters written during these later years seem to 
have, even beyond their former wont, a prevision of the 
eternal world. Thus, in 1884, recalling the early days in 
Andover, he writes to Mrs. Mead : — 

" Very far off" these beautiful times and scenes seem 
now, and ever more and more receding, as we are borne 
hurrying like the clouds onward. But in grateful and 
sweet memory they go with me and ever will go as I 
move toward the valley of the sunset, more and more 
solitary of the friends of earlier years, as my steps verge 
on the twilight where the earthly path seems to fade and 
the stars are stealing out one by one as outsentinels of 
the City of Light." 

" The mighty problems that lie at the heart of our 
being and environ it," he writes the same friend in 1885, 
"press more and more upon me as the shores of the 
eternal land loom up more and more grand and awful 
across the narrowing gulf of time." 

At this period Dr. Post was fully conscious of a physi- 
cal disorder in the nature of heart trouble, which might 
hasten the end. He writes in 1884: "That great and 
long-faithful organ seems sometimes aweary and laboring 
with a muffled drumbeat." 

He had experienced within a few years recurrences — 


not at very frequent intervals, but such as to cause the 
gravest alarm — of fainting fits, lapses of consciousness, 
sometimes lasting for almost an hour, and from which it 
was difficult to arouse him ; and they were warnings not 
merely of failing strength but of the danger of sudden 
death at almost any time, and caused much anxiety and 
dread on the part of his family. 

In the fall of 1886 the American Board, of which he 
had for many years been a prominent member, held its 
annual meeting at Des Moines, Iowa. The session then 
held was to him, as to all Congregational clergymen, one 
of surpassing interest, involving as it did a discussion of 
the requirements placed on candidates for the missionary 
field, touching their belief in the destiny of souls in the 
heathen world to whom the gospel had not been pro- 
claimed. So anxious was Dr. Post about this issue and 
its wise settlement, that, although in a low state of 
health, he went through the fatigues of a very rough 
trip, in order to be, if possible, of some service in the 
deliberations of the Board. 

On his arrival he found himself too feeble even to 
attend its sessions, though sent for with the urgent 
request that he should at least take a seat on the platform, 
if he were unable to do more. After passing two sleep- 
less nights at the hotel in Des Moines he came home 
utterly worn out in body and spirit. 

One grave trouble which had been growing on him for 
a number of years now became rapidly worse. He sel- 
dom got any sleep after one o'clock at night, and to aggra- 
vate this, a new disorder, known to the medical fraternity 
as Cheyne-Stokes respiration, began to manifest itself. 
His breathing would fluctuate and at periodic intervals 
almost cease. While he longed for sleep, he dreaded its 
approach, lest it should prove the harbinger of death. 



On Saturday, December, 25, he was attacked with 
paroxysms of great distress, to relieve which resort was 
had to hypodermic injections of morphine. Under the 
influence of this drug his mind became clouded and got to 
wandering. He was not expected to live through the 
following night, but the next day he rallied surprisingly, 
and his faculties resumed much of their normal clearness. 

He was manifestly a good deal improved, and his phy- 
sicians, Drs. Johnson and Baumgarten, seemed to regard 
the change as decidedly hopeful ; but early the next week 
the distressful paroxysms and Cheyne-Stokes respiration 
returned, with no relief but the use of morphine, followed 
as before by darkened consciousness. There were, how- 
ever, lucid intervals, unspeakably precious, during which the 
spirit, which seemingly had taken its last look upon mor- 
tal things, was back again in the bedchamber and holding- 
converse with its loved ones. 

Monday, December 27, the baby grandson, Martin 
Hayward Post, was brought in by his father and mother, 
and placed at the bedside, and in the presence of the gath- 
ered kindred, and in a profound stillness only broken by 
sobs, the covenant of baptism was administered. 

Early in the week his brother Dr. Hand and his niece 
Mrs. Stryker arrived in response to summons by telegraph. 
On seeing him Dr. Hand was greatly moved and fell 
on his knees at the bedside. " Brother Truman," he said, 
"whatever of good there has been in the life of the poor 
wandering boy that found your home in Jacksonville has 
been owing to you. As I grow older, I am getting more 
and more to believe in the gospel of Christ as you have 
taught it." To which Dr. Post answered tenderly and 
solemnly : " That is my faith. It is the faith which has 
come down to me through the ages." 

When himself Dr. Post was fully conscious that the end 


was at hand and faced it with that deep and unruffled calm 
which was in keeping with his character. 

During one of Dr. Johnson's visits he said, "Doctor, 
do you think I shall ever get up again ? " When told that 
in all probability he would not, he said, " I have thought 
so. I have supposed for a good while that I had a dis- 
order which sooner or later would take me off. You know 
I have no fear of death. But I feel a sense of awe to 
think that only a thin veil divides me from the eternal 
world, and that in so short a time my soul will stand in 
the presence of my Maker. But you know that my 
Saviour will be there to lean upon." 

At another time, as Dr. Johnson entered the room, 
he said pleasantly, "Well, doctor, you see I am jogging 
around the corner." 

Once he seemed to be thinking of the life in Jackson- 
ville, and asked to hear a song which used to be sung 
there by the children in old days, to Mrs. Hemans' verses, 
beginning " Come to the sunset tree " — a song telling of 
twilight repose and tranquil musings on the " world 
beyond the grave." 

Campbell's poem, "The Last Man," with its prophecy 
of immortality, was also in his thoughts, and he repeated 
most of the lines aloud, recalling them at intervals. 

On Tuesday he became delirious and fancied himself 
away from home, and about to take the train, and in fear 
of being left behind ; insisting on having his baggage put 
in order and everything got ready at once for the trip. 

That evening, while in one of these hallucinations, he 
had himself dressed, and walked across the hall into the 
room occupied by the children of his deceased daughter, 
Mrs. Young. Once there, he imagined himself at the 
home of his sister Jane, at Charlotte, on Lake Champlain, 
with the expanse of water and mountains just before him. 



He stood at the window for some time and tried to dis- 
cover the lake and the hill country beyond, but at length 
gave up the attempt, saying it was too dark to see the 
peaks on the other shore. He passed an hour or more 
in the room with the grandchildren, peaceful and con- 
tented, never doubting the fact that somehow he was back 
again among his old kindred in Vermont. 

In an interval of consciousness, and one believed at the 
time to be his last, all of the younger generation were 
called together and one after another brought into the 
room, each in turn receiving from him a smile and caress 
and some word of parting affection and Admonition. 

Toward the end, and while in complete possession of his 
faculties and fully aware that death was close at hand, 
he said to those about him, after a long pause, and in 
solemn and measured tones, as if intending that his words 
should have the weight of a last testimony : " I die in 
hope of salvation through Jesus Christ." 

Wednesday and Thursday the paroxysms became more 
frequent, and under the morphine applied to ease them, as 
also by reason of the progress of disease, his mind was 
shadowed and wandering most of the time. Once or 
twice in his delirium he prayed as he prayed in the pulpit, 
with a full, strong intonation, coherently and fervently and 
for minutes together. 

Among the last words remembered, he said in half 
consciousness, "As I stand in the presence of the mystery 
that is" — and then his faculties failed and the sentence 
was never finished. 

Thursday night it was plain that the end was close at 
hand. Shortly after midnight, the unmistakable signs 
caused the watchers to summon the household to the bed- 
side, and near five o'clock in the morning of the last day of 
1886, as the gray dawn was breaking, his spirit passed away. 



JANUARY 3, 1887, was the time appointed for the 
funeral observances. The clay was bitterly cold 
and was made doubly trying by the wind which was 
blowing violently. 

In consequence of Dr. Post's long pastorate over its 
people, the Congregational Church on Delmar Avenue 
was fitly selected as the place for the services. Loving 
hands had draped its walls in black and had strewn its 
pulpit platform with flowers and branches of palm. 

Despite the inclement weather, the audience room was 
thronged. Among those who gathered there, besides 
members of the church and congregation, were many 
from other Congregational churches in St. Louis and 
from the church at Webster Groves, not a few of whom 
had known Dr. Post as a pastor in former times and 
through trying and stormy days in the life of the mother 
church. In the assembly were old faces — not many of 
them — which belonged to the early period in St. Louis — 
faces of those who had been the friends of Dr. Post in 
his younger manhood. And men well known in the 
community, representative citizens in different callings, 
to some of whom Dr. Post, although not personally known, 
had stood for much that was good and noble in the his- 
tory of St. Louis, were there to do honor to his memory. 
And there were those from without the state ; teachers 
and officers of institutions with which Dr. Post was at 



his death connected, who had come from Chicago and 
Monticello to be present at the funeral. 

Dr. Post had, within a few years before, and up to the 
time of his death, been a member of the Chi Alpha 
Society ; a club composed of clergymen from different 
denominations, who were wont to meet informally from 
time to time at the houses of the various members. 
He was actively connected also with the Evangelical 
Alliance, a large organization of ministers, representing 
most of the Protestant churches in St. Louis. Members 
of both organizations assembled at the house and went 
thence in a body with the funeral procession to the 

Those who acted as pallbearers were L. L. Walbridge, 
George Denison, Moses S. Forbes, Thomas Howard, 
George S. Edgell, Denham Arnold, Dr. Charles E. Briggs, 
and Robert P. Studley. Additional and honorary pall- 
bearers, all of them intimate friends of former years, 
were Judges Samuel Treat and Thomas J. C. Fagg ; James 
E. Yeatman, Charles Belcher, Melvin L. Gray, Charles 
Holmes, Dr. John B. Johnson, and William D. Griswold. 
Following them were the kindred of the second and 
third generation ,and a train of mourning household 

As the procession entered the building, the congrega- 
tion rose, and the words of the Ninetieth Psalm, so often 
spoken by the old pastor and so familiarly associated with 
his voice and presence in former scenes of mourning, 
were chanted by the choir to the muffled refrain of the 

The reading of other and appropriate passages from 
Scripture by Rev. Dr. Brank, pastor of the Central Pres- 
byterian Church, followed. 

Prayer was then offered by Rev. E. B. Burrows, of the 


Congregational Church of Webster Groves, and the hymn 


"Forever with the Lord! 11 

was sung, as it had been sung thirteen years before at the 
funeral services after the death of Mrs. Post. 

Rev. J. G. Merrill, Dr. Post's successor in the pastorate, 
and a most considerate and loving friend, delivered the 
principal discourse, a large part of which was historical 
and touching upon events and incidents narrated in these 
pages, and solely for that reason not here inserted. His 
address closed with a character sketch, of which the fol- 
lowing were leading thoughts : — 

"The flight of his imagination was, on great occasions, 
the wonder and admiration of those who heard him. . . . 
History was his favorite pursuit. The men of the past 
lived in his thinking, and the deeds of bygone ages were 
as vivid as present transactions. The rare faculty of a 
correct perspective was his, the ability to group events 
also. The ' trend ' of affairs, as he often expressed it, 
was the constant object of his search. . . . 

"And he was a philosopher. The deep things of God, 
the farthest reaches of the human mind, engaged his 
thought. He was of the Lord's chosen ones bidden by 
the Master to launch out into the deep. In his later 
years the richness of his conversation upon vast themes 
was only surpassed by its breadth and vigor. Others 
might be content with the beauty of the ocean of truth ; 
he sounded its deeps to discover the hidden treasure. 
Systems he did not formulate, doctrines he cared little to 
develop, but the thoughts that underlie systems, the 
truths that stand behind doctrines, were his delight. For 
he was a seer. The logical processes that other minds 
must employ he overleaped. The trodden paths that 
others had walked in he had left behind. The mountain 


top, whence could be seen at a glance the greatest truths, 
was the outlook he had gained. Of him it could be 
said : ' Blessed are the pure in heart : for they shall see 
God.' . . . 

"Few men of his day have had his intimate, direct, 
loving acquaintance with truth. It is not surprising that 
such a mind welcomed with eagerness any new manifesta- 
tion of truth, abhorred all restraints on those who were 
searching for the verities, and demanded for himself and 
for others liberty. . . . 

"Dr. Post was supremely honest of soul. Where other 
men could lightly give assent to a creed, and thus join a 
church and enter the ministry, he stood back appalled. 
The vast truths of the confession and the catechism must 
be his before he could declare them true. I shall never 
forget his comment as he recalled an attempt to commit 
a mass meeting of one of our large societies against a 
dogma at the time regarded as unorthodox. 'Who of 
those who voted for or against the motion,' said he, 
'knew the teachings of the Scriptures upon the question; 
what if those who were voting against heresy, as they 
thought, were voting against the Bible ? ' . . . 

"The church which he founded has a creed, the work of 
the hand of its founder, twenty-five years in advance of 
the creeds of its day ; but no man, woman, or child found 
this creed or any creed standing across the portal of his 
church. It distressed him to learn that a new convert, 
who had had no instruction or little thought upon the 
truths that it contained, desired to stand up before God 
and man and declare his belief in its different articles. It 
was all that he dared ask of any that they should be 
received after his saying to the congregation. 'These 
persons, on previous personal examination, have exhibited 
satisfactory conformity with the following statement of 


the great truths of Christianity, exhibited in the Confes- 
sion of Faith of this Church.' 

"The only vows asked were those of consecration and 
service. In more than one direction looked this pregnant 
passage from the dedication sermon which Dr. Post 
preached at the opening of his church in 1852: 'Here 
we inaugurate a gospel free in vindicating the eternal 
rights of the human soul to God's truth and its private 
judgment thereon. May the gospel here never be bound! 
Chain up, if you will, the senate chamber, the courthouse, 
the forum, but may the gospel never come forth in this 
place wearing manacles. Wretched the preacher, wretched 
the people, that will suffer chains on it ! Eternal chains 
await them both.' 

" His was a Christ-loving soul. He loved with all the 
intensity of his being the Christ. His soul was knit with 
the soul of our Lord. To Him he referred all question- 
ings and doubts. It mattered little what theories were 
held upon this or that fact of God's Word or govern- 
ment. Jesus was to him 'the way, the truth, the life.' 
Acquainted with all the planets and knowing their 
motions, he learned them all by the study of the central 
sun. In the last-published utterances of Dr. Post I find 
these words: 'The present need of the Christian world 
is a new resurrection of our Lord from the dead, another 
mighty angel to roll away the stone from the sepulcher. 
We need a new walk with the risen Christ to Emmaus, 
and to feel our hearts burn within us as he opens to us 
the Scriptures. We need another Pentecostal effusion of 
the Holy Spirit guiding the Church, with the conscious- 
ness of him as a living, personal presence. There needs 
a new enthronement and coronation of him ; another 
apocalypse and unveiling of him as King of kings and 
Lord of lords.' . . . 



" Commanding as was his intellect, lofty as was his soul, 
to those who knew him best, Dr. Post owed to a loving 
heart the secret of his power. He had friends everywhere 
and of all classes and conditions, of those who loved 
him, not merely beeausc he was great and good, but 
because he loved them. Strong men, tender women, and 
little children, bewailed their loss when it was said that 
he was dead. 'St. Louis had three saints — now there 
are but two,' said a prominent banker on the day of 
his funeral. ' Was not that the apostle John ? ' said a 
little girl, who, after hearing of the Revelator and his 
last words, ' Little children, love one another,' felt for 
the first time the hand of the aged pastor emeritus on her 

"Three generations mourned a dear friend: the few 
equal in age to himself, who with him had passed through 
the valley of the shadow of a great national conflict ; the 
many into whose life had been wrought the instructions 
which he had given them in their youth ; the boys and 
girls, who, when the twentieth century shall have dawned, 
will recall the face they were taught to revere and learned 
to love. . . . 

"Judged by the only just standard of judgment, that 
of his generation, Dr. Post had few peers. What he 
ought to have done as the organizer of educational institu- 
tions or the founder of churches can never be answered 
until it has been learned how large a part of the work 
that he did accomplish would have been left undone, had 
he given his time and attention to labors belonging either 
to minds of a different mold or times of a different date. 
But what this man did he never would boast of, nor suffer 
those who loved him to bruit abroad. His only glory was 
in the Lord, whom he adored and loved. He has written 
in his own matchless way the relation which he held to 



Jesus ; and with his eloquent tribute of love to the Ador- 
able One, this brief sketch of his life shall close. 

" He died as he had lived. None but Christ ; all with 

"As he himself, in his magnificent discourse upon the 
Incarnate One, has said, ' I find myself under a system 
which, of itself, unless supplemented by some further 
revelation, leaves me with no moral deliverance. My 
moral nature is cold and dead. God is glorious and the 
universe is beautiful. But I am helpless, hopeless, lost. 
I sink, beneath the glory and the beauty, as the desperate 
swimmer sinks beneath the splendors of the nightly skies 
in the depths of ocean. 

" ' But now, as I look around in the very crisis of my 
despair, lo ! the heavens are open. A wondrous Person 
descends from the bosom of the Father, revealing the 
beauty of his unspeakable love in a human form, that 
means for me mortality, and suffers and dies for me. 

"'As I behold, a new spiritual power enfolds me. I 
find myself in a new universe. New life beats through 
my whole being. Divine love stooping to my nature, and 
proving itself through suffering, is mightier than my 
guilt, my fear, my despair. It subdues me to repentance, 
to faith, to hope, to love. It invigorates me, it transforms 
me. Cloud and darkness pass from before the throne. 
The emerald bow of peace engirds it. The intolerable 
brightness is shaded into the sweetness of human sym- 
pathy. Wide flung are the gates of the city of God. 
Hands that were pierced for me hold open its portals. 
One that has redeemed me, and washed me from my sins 
in his own blood, that cried on the cross, ' Father, for- 
give,' bids me come up thither — a saved soul.' ' 

The sermon of Dr. Merrill was followed by a brief per- 
sonal tribute from Rev. Dr. S. J. Niccolls, pastor of the 



Second Presbyterian Church, whose friendship had been 
peculiarly warm and intimate from the days of the war, 
and whose church through that dark and trying period 
had been by reason of its sympathy and associations 
especially knit to his own. 

Dr. Niccolls said : — 

" Beloved friends : We have come to-day, to the house 
of God, with our hearts saddened by a great bereavement. 
I am at a loss with what words to express the common 
grief which we feel. First of all, the sentiments of per- 
sonal friendship rise up and struggle for expression. 
Twenty years of professional and intimate intercourse, 
with its varied experiences of joy and sorrow and trial, 
through strange and stormy periods of the past, excite 
emotions which cannot be driven away from my mind, so 
as to leave me free to say that which I would otherwise 
say, with reference to the noble and saintly life which has 
just been closed. 

"Yet while I sorrow as a friend, I am only one of many 
mourning friends that sorrow sincerely. While one fam- 
ily grieves, — the family in which he was revered and 
loved so tenderly, — hundreds and thousands of families 
throughout this land, to whom he brought hope and com- 
fort, also grieve. Not one church, — the church to which 
he was bound by the strongest and tenderest of ties, — 
but many churches mourn to-day for the departure from 
earth of a man who was filled with the inspiration of the 
Holy Ghost, and who exercised the ministry of Jesus 
Christ with power. 

" The presence of this large and tearful assembly, repre- 
senting what is best in a great city, attests how power 
fully the influence of this man's life has touched the 
whole community in which we live. 

"We do well to come to-day, to give honor to his 


memory. Grief is a tribute which we owe to departed 
greatness ; but I would not seek by any word of mine to 
aggravate your sorrow. Tears are easily shed in this 
world. Better than tears is a cheerful and patient sub- 
mission to the will of God. Besides, sorrow for the dead 
is wholesome only when it leads us to revere their virtues, 
imitate their attainments, and, above all, to exercise grati- 
tude to God for the blessings he has bestowed upon us 
through their labors. And surely, as we remember what 
has been wrought by him whose death now so sorely afflicts 
us, we can find much to excite gratitude and thankful- 
ness. There are those here that can recall, as they look 
back over past years, the time when our brother began 
his ministry for Christ in this city. He was then in the 
morning of a vigorous manhood, and his glowing words 
attested how deeply he had experienced and how firmly 
he believed that gospel which he preached. From then 
until now, through forty eventful years, he never faltered 
in his testimony, but the rather gave it with increasing 
power. The memory of those years, quickened by the 
tender influences of this hour, brings to you many a mes- 
sage from his lips which filled your fainting souls with 
new hope or confirmed your faith in the Lord Jesus 
Christ. To some, perchance, come again the sweet invi- 
tations of divine love, spoken as only this poet-preacher 
could utter them ; to others, solemn warnings of the judg- 
ment of the transgressor, depicted with such vividness 
and robed in such splendor of diction that they flamed 
before the trembling soul like the fiery sword of an 
avenging angel. His was the human voice that awoke 
you from the fatal sleep of sin and called you to eternal 
glory. Under God, you owe to him more than to any 
other man — more than the gift of highest station or 
largest wealth could confer on you, for through his min- 



istry came to you the hope of eternal life. There are 
others to whom he has been a counselor, a comforter, a 
guide. When you were overwhelmed with sorrow, when 
your dead lay cold and silent before you, and your heart 
was torn with great anguish, he it was who came and with 
tearful sympathy, like that of his divine Master, mingled 
his tears with yours. With a strong uplifting faith, he 
helped you through the trial and led you to believe in that 
divine love which you could not see. Some of you can 
remember your times of joy, when he came to share your 
gladness and invoke heaven's choicest blessings upon 
your prosperity. In your hours of perplexity you sought 
him for counsel, and as with a vision of a seer he pointed 
you to the pathway in which you might safely go. There 
are others here, upon whose heads, long ago, he placed 
the seal of the unbroken and everlasting covenant in holy 
baptism. In your childhood, led to the sanctuary by 
parental hands, you listened to his words from the sacred 
desk as to those of a teacher sent from God. They were 
the first that profoundly awakened your conscience and 
made you alive to the power of an endless life. Under 
the spell of his words the heavens seemed opened before 
you and the invisible world became a grand reality. His 
hand touched chords within your bosom that will vibrate 
as long as life shall last. His teachings have gone into 
your soul life ; they are incorporated in your character 
there to remain forever. There are others also among 
you, little children, who in the years to come, will 
remember the aged and saintly man to whom they 
looked up with reverence, and yet who was so childlike 
that they had no fear in his presence ; who laid his hands 
upon their heads with a touch soft and gentle, and yet 
with a power so great that it seemed in the joy that fol- 
lowed as though virtue had gone out from him unto them. 


With such memories awakening within our bosoms, and 
with such influences pressing upon us, well may we thank 
God for his gift in the ministry of Dr. Post ! 

" We speak of the honor which is clue to benefactors, 
and we rightly revere their memories. What, then, shall 
we say of him who has been a faithful minister of the 
gospel in this community for forty years ? He was not 
rich. He built no hospitals or schools or stately asylums 
out of his abundance. He devised no schemes of com- 
mercial policy or material development by which the 
community was enriched through trade or commerce. 
But if he is worthy of the name of ' benefactor ' who 
has enriched his fellows with the choicest and greatest 
truths ; who has comforted the sorrowing and lifted up the 
weak ; who has been feet to the lame and eyes to the 
blind to lead them in their pathway; who has by his life 
confirmed others in their holiest faith, and who has left 
the rich legacy of a blameless and holy character, — then 
to Dr. Truman Post belongs the name of 'benefactor,' 
and you owe to him a grateful and loving remembrance. 
Build him a monument of marble and enduring bronze ; 
it will not endure so long or speak so grandly for him 
as that which he has already built for himself in the lives 
and in the hearts of those to whom he has ministered in 
Christ's name. 

" Such a ministry as his cannot be told in its minutest 
details on an occasion like this. A part of that ministry 
belongs to the history and to the progress of the denomi- 
nation of which he was the first and foremost representa- 
tive in this city. Others must speak of it ; and yet Dr. 
Post did not belong to a particular denomination. He 
believed sincerely, I might almost say intensely, in the 
polity of the Congregational Church ; but he was held by 
no sectarian bounds. While he was denominational, he 
was more catholic than denominational. Over and above 



his special belief in the polity of a particular denomina- 
tion, was his larger and grander faith in those great truths 
which belong to us all as Christians. This larger faith 
made him exceedingly tolerant — tolerant almost to an 
extreme — of the peculiar views of others. He did not 
glory in denominational differences, but the rather in the 
common possessions of the Christian Church, in those eter- 
nal truths which he was accustomed to speak of as the 
1 things which cannot be shaken.' He had no patience 
with controversies over doctrines which he deemed to be 
nonessential. Unwilling to define either for himself or 
for others the circumference of all revealed truth, he 
ever pointed with delight to its great center, which, as he 
saw it, was none other than the God-man, Jesus Christ. 
" On his deathbed he said to a friend who was speak- 
ing to him concerning his faith : ' I believe in the faith 
that has come down through the ages.' The faith 
through which Abraham saw Christ's day and rejoiced ; 
that filled the heart of David as he sung of the blessed- 
ness of those who trust in God, and that flamed in the 
rapturous songs of Isaiah ; the faith that the apostles 
proclaimed and that was sealed by the blood of martyrs ; 
the faith that the golden-tongued Chrysostom preached 
and that Augustine defended ; the faith of Luther, of 
Calvin, of Knox, and of Wesley ; the faith of Bellamy, 
of Baxter, and of Howe ; the faith that the Puritans 
carried as their most sacred treasure across the sea to 
Plymouth Rock; the faith of Brewster, of Robinson, of 
Mather, of Edwards, and of Dwight, — was his faith. He 
lived in it, he died in it, and he has entered heaven 
through it. No wonder that, upheld and comforted by 
it, the last utterance that came from his lips as they 
were closing in the long silence of death was ' Blessed 
be God ! ' His was indeed a faith that could triumph over 


" But it is not simply as the poet-preacher of our city 
that he endeared himself to us all and that he has minis- 
tered so largely to our welfare. The power of Chris- 
tian character is not limited or held by any religious 
denomination. It is like the fragrance from a garden 
of roses, which cannot be confined by the garden walls. 
The free winds of heaven carry it abroad and the passer- 
by is quickened and regaled by it. So it is with the 
Christian character of our brother. Thousands in our 
city who did not attend his ministry have recognized in 
him a man 'full of faith and of the Holy Ghost.' He 
was a living epistle of Christ, ' known and read of all men.' 
He walked in meekness, in gentleness, and in sincerity. 
In the twenty years of familiar intercourse which I had 
with him I have never heard him speak a harsh or bitter 
word of any one. He knew the imperfections of men, 
but he dealt with them in the spirit of forbearance and 
gentleness inspired by Jesus Christ. Tried by many 
sorrows and disappointments, he never lost his cheerful- 
ness of disposition. He was no pessimist, weeping over 
the present and despairing of the future. With a hope 
born of faith in the promises of God, he walked with 
radiant and uplifted countenance, rejoicing that he could 
still work for Christ and in due time be with him in 

"Brother ministers! how much is there in this life, 
whose earthly career is now closed, for our encourage- 
ment ! It bids us live for Christ, preach Christ, and 
teach Christ by our example. It assures us that our labor 
is not in vain in the Lord, and that all earthly honor is 
poor in comparison with the rewards of the gospel 

"Sitting here to-day, and looking upon this great assem- 
bly burdened with its grief, it seemed to me that the 


scene changed. Instead of this part of the church, bring- 
ing their tribute of respect and sorrow, with their eyes 
overflowing with tears and their hearts torn with grief 
through parting with their beloved pastor, I saw another 
part of the church. It was composed of those who 
through past years have gone ' over the flood ' and 
entered into their eternal rest. No tears were in their 
eyes, no lamentations on their lips. They were welcom- 
ing the pastor through whom they had been brought to 
know Christ, and who, during their earthly pilgrimage, 
had so faithfully ministered to them. They came with 
songs and rejoicing, band after band gathering around 
him, to accompany him to the presence-chamber of the 
King. And he who lies here silent, unmoved by our 
grief, was there saying in glad surprise, ' My brethren, 
dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and my crown.' 

" Happy and rich in blessing was the ministry of our 
brother on earth. Its memory will long linger among us 
like sweet fragrance. But happier and more abundant in 
blessing is his lot now that he has entered ' into the joy 
of his Lord.' He has left us the poorer by going away 
and full of sorrow because we shall see his face no more. 
But in a ' little while ' we shall see him ! Until then, 
faithful fellow-laborer, dear companion, brother tenderly 
loved, farewell." 

The address of Dr. Niccolls was followed by a prayer 
from Rev. Dr. Stimson, pastor of the Pilgrim Congrega- 
tional Church, and a hymn, with the benediction, closed 
the services. 

The funeral train, with the bearers and kindred and a 
few of the more intimate friends, conveyed the body to 
Bellefontaine and laid it close beside those of his wife 
and child and near the spot where thirty-seven years 
before his own voice had consecrated that place of the 



Expression of the Press on the Death of Dr. Post, and Tributes from the 
United States Court and Religious and Educational Societies in St. 
Louis and elsewhere throughout the Country. 

OF the utterances of the public press and communica- 
tions and memorials following upon the death of 
Dr. Post published throughout the country it would be 
impossible to speak in detail, much less to insert extended 

In the St. Louis daily newspapers were biographical 
sketches and notices, immediately after the decease. 

Said an editorial of The Globe-Democrat, on the 
following day : — 

" The death of Rev. Dr. Truman Post is a melancholy 
event with which to close the history of the old year in 
St. Louis. Although age and infirmity had been pressing 
upon the distinguished divine for some time, it seemed 
hard to realize that he was about to pass from a com- 
munity in which he was so dearly beloved and of which 
he had been for forty years a conspicuous member. His 
death is for himself a long journey ended and a heavy 
burden of care and toil laid down ; but for the people of 
St. Louis it is a familiar figure to all and a dear friend to 
thousands gone forever." 

The following is from The Republican of the same 
date : — 

"In the death of Dr. Truman M. Post, not alone the 
faith in which his long and earnest life was passed, but 
the whole city of St. Louis has sustained a loss. In a 



ripe old age, full of years and honors, Dr. Post has ended 
his labors and gone to his reward. Few men have 
deserved better. His simple faith, his kindly humanity, 
his loyalty to conviction, his manly courage combined to 
make him, not alone a remarkable man, but a man who 
was loved and honored and believed in by all who came 
within the circle of his influences. For many years he 
has been a factor of no uncertain importance in the best 
life in St. Louis. Rich and poor, gentle and simple, have 
been the better for it that he has lived among us. Age 
hardly impaired the vigor of his intellect or the effective- 
ness of his labor. Around his coffin will gather more 
than one generation of St. Louisans, anxious to testify 
their respect and his worthiness. Not alone Congrega- 
tionalism, but Christianity gained from what he did, and 
loses because he will do no more." 

On the day of the funeral the United States Circuit 
Court stood adjourned. And this order of Judge Treat 
was spread on its records : — 

" Inasmuch as the Judge is desirous, by his personal 
presence, to pay an appropriate tribute of respect to the 
memory of one of his earliest and best friends, the Rev. 
Truman M. Post, whom not this community alone, but all 
who value genius and exalted worth do and ought to 
honor ; and inasmuch as the last sad rites, which at the 
end of his long, learned and saintly career, commenced in 
legal and culminating in clerical pursuits, are to-day to be 
duly observed, it is ordered that, as an expression of 
respect to the memory of one so worthy of all honor from 
every learned profession and from the entire public, this 
Court will now stand adjourned until to-morrow morning 
at eleven o'clock ; so that the Judge and all others asso- 
ciated with the administration of justice may testify by 
their personal presence to their just appreciation of the 


worth of the deceased, and to the loss which all suffer in 
the close of his saintly life." 

The following memorial was adopted by the Congrega- 
tional ministers' meeting in St. Louis : — 

" At a ripe old age the founder of our order in our city 
and state has heard our Father's summons, and gone to 
his eternal home. 

"With mental force undimmed and spiritual vigor un- 
abated, after more than twoscore years of service he has 
entered upon his reward. 

" We call to mind his strong, benignant countenance ; 
his sparkling, instructive conversation ; his poetic, pro- 
found preaching ; his wise, tender counsels ; the legacy of 
a saint grandly endowed, widely cultivated, and enriched 
by the spirit of all grace. 

" We sympathize with the family that has been deprived 
of its revered head. We share the grief of a church 
which has lost a beloved father and a loving friend. We 
glorv in the place he filled among the heralds of salvation. 

"We rejoice in the memory of his intense passion for 
liberty, his unbounded loyalty to truth, and his unflinch- 
ing adherence to the right. 

" With the prayer to God that his mantle may fall upon 
us who are left to finish the work that he began, we go 
forward rejoicing in the inspiration of his peerless life." 

From resolutions adopted by the Board of Trustees of 
the Missouri Blind Asylum is the following : — 

" The biography of the late Rev. Dr. Post would be an 
epitome of many of the institutions of charity and of 
learning not only of this city but of other cities in this 
and other states. He gave the initiative to, and was an 
assiduous laborer in, all such works. His whole very 
active life was that of goodness, of saintliness and purity ; 
a beacon to his contemporaries and an example to those 
who will follow him. 



" His connection with this school, both as a trustee and 
for many years as president, was very felicitous and bene- 
ficial. His frequent visits to the school and personal asso- 
ciation with the pupils were happy events never to be 
forgotten by them. He spoke to them with a loving, 
sympathizing heart. He was a light to their darkened 
eyes and a comfort to their saddened hearts. The afflic- 
tion of blindness was in a measure relieved by the 
spiritual consolation he gave to their souls. He left 
with them the assurance of a brighter light in the life 
to come." 

The following is taken from an editorial in The Chicago 
Advance : — 

" By his character and eloquence he early attained com- 
manding distinction at the east as well as at the west. 
On many and various public occasions in the east, at col- 
lege commencements and the anniversaries of our great 
societies, he rendered most important services as one of 
the most representative men of the west. His connection 
with the Chicago Theological Seminary dates from its 
origin to the time of his death. He was one of its earli- 
est instructors and always one of its directors. He was 
nearly as well known among the churches in Chicago as 
at St. Louis. His coming to any pulpit here to preach 
was an advent filled with eager interest. His last sermon 
preached in the New England Church, only a few months 
since, was one of extraordinary beauty and grandeur of 
thought and spiritual impressiveness. 

" The gospel and kingdom of our Lord here and now 
were to him vivid, glorious realities, and under their inspi- 
ration his character took on a simplicity and a nobility, a 
gentleness and power, a tenderness and dignity, a sweet- 
ness and solidity, a balanced conservatism and radicalism, 
penetrated alike, with caution and high cheer, whicli all 


together imparted to his personality and influence, both 
here and at the east, a value which none who knew him 
can recall without emotions of deep love and admiration 
for the man and of devout thanksgiving to God for the 
gift to our generation of such men as he." 

From the memorial prepared by Professor G. N. 
Boardman and adopted by the Chicago Theological Semi- 
nary is this extract: — 

" His acute thought and rare power of expression 
enabled him to waken interest in topics that seemed trite 
and to adorn whatever he touched. His powerful but 
ever-controlled imagination often bodied forth the future 
with amazing vividness before his spellbound hearers and 
depicted the events of history as if they were occurrences 
of to-day. His love of nature — of the mountains, forests 
and streams, of the home of his childhood ; his delight in 
reproducing in thought and word the experiences of the 
early settlers along the mountain slopes of Vermont ; his 
impassioned appeals to young men about to leave their 
native state, to cherish the memories of the early days, 
the days of trial and conflict, to remember and reverence 
the battlefields of three wars in the Champlain Valley, — 
these marked him as at once a poet and a patriot. 

" There were rare combinations in Dr. Post's character. 
He was by nature conservative ; he reveled in books, in 
the recorded thoughts of great authors, in libraries, in 
transmitted culture ; yet he was a man of his day, his 
thoughts and utterances related to present time and 
present need. His public addresses had, besides their 
marvelous eloquence, a remarkable fitness to the occasions 
which called them forth. He held firmly to the faith of 
the fathers, yet he never fully accepted any man's state- 
ment of Christian doctrine. He was impatient of wild or 
fanciful speculations, but most kindly tolerant of those 


who were inquirers rather than dogmatists concerning the 
truths of revelation." 

From the pen of Rev. George C Adams, in The Chicago 
Advance, is the following : — 

" He seemed to be led all his life in a way that he knew 
not. He chose the law as his profession and was admitted 
to the bar, but God had made him a teacher, and he taught 
in the college until he was led to the higher office of 
teaching from the pulpit. He was led here to plant and 
sustain a church from which should spring many. He 
laid the foundation on which others were to build. All 
through those weary years, when it was a grand triumph 
to merely stay here and be a Congregationalist and an 
Abolitionist, he was living a life whose influence should 
last long after his work was done. Character counts for 
something in this life. For many years, when Congrega- 
tionalism was mentioned in this region, about all that 
people knew of it was Dr. Post. Thousands who do not 
grasp the meaning of forms and creeds judge a sect by 
its men, and surely no denomination ever had a truer, 
nobler object lesson in its behalf than was given in this 
blameless life." 

This is from an editorial notice in The Independent of 
January 6, 1887 : — 

" The telegraph announces the death last week of the 
Rev. Dr. Truman M. Post, of St. Louis. To that city he 
was called in 1847, when Puritanism in all its forms was 
very unpopular in the state of Missouri. He lived to see 
Congregationalism a strong body, not only in St. Louis, 
but far west of him, a result which he did very much to 
produce. Our personal acquaintance with him dates from 
1 86 1. We shall never forget the cordial welcome he gave 
to the young minister entering on his first parish in the 
state of Indiana under special difficulties and with a 


threatened division in the church, which happily was 
averted. His counsel and his support at that time were 
those of an affectionate father and these words are written 
by one of the many to whom he endeared himself by like 
acts of a loving sympathy. He had then already begun 
to suffer from weakened eyesight, and had abandoned the 
use of notes in the pulpit — a weakness that became his 
strength, for it made him one of the most eloquent of 
pulpit and platform orators. 

"Dr. Post was sometimes called the father of Congre- 
gationalism in Missouri, as the first church of that denom- 
ination in that state was that over which he became pastor 
in 1847." 

A very elaborate and beautiful life sketch, read by his 
old-time and loved friend, E. W. Blatchford, before the 
Chicago Congregational Club, closes with the following, 
of which the first paragraph as well as other passages 
referred to are from the subject of the memorial: — 

" ' As we read of Moses, at the command of God, going 
up Mount Nebo to die, our thought follows him through 
the hours in his arduous climb up the lone peak, till he 
stands there with the evening shadows beginning to 
stretch around, already betokening the awful mystery of 
that shadow into which he was to pass, with God alone, 
forever from mortal sight.' 

" For some years we have recognized those ' evening 
shadows ' gently gathering, though his commanding frame 
was still erect and his mental action vigorous and incisive. 
The frequent monitions of danger he well apprehended. 
That heart, whose faithful beatings had measured more 
than the ordinary period of life, gave its quiet warning 
that in an unexpected moment might 'the silver cord be 
loosed.' The soul, ' the body's guest,' as the hour of part- 
ing drew near, more and more asserted her divine birth- 



right, till in his presence one felt more conscious of the 
spiritual presence than of the material. During a visit in 
the autumn, in our country home, a visit of profound 
enjoyment of nature and social life and reminiscence, he 
spoke often and cheerfully of the change that might be 
near; yet with all his old-time power, on that beautiful 
Sabbath, did he preach in our homelike chapel, amid the 
falling leaves of the forest, typical of the nature so soon to 
enter into rest. His text was : ' Finally, brethren, whatso- 
ever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, what- 
soever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, what- 
soever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good 
report ; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, 
think on these things ' ; and in his own matchless grasp of 
thought and imagery did he show how the lines of char- 
acter are graven by ' thinking on these things.' Once 
thereafter was it permitted me to see him this side of the 
eternal gateway, and plainly did the failing strength indi- 
cate a near departure. Yet again and again did he rally, 
and words of life and power and suggestion were heard 
from his lips. The closing struggle was not long pro- 
tracted. In moments of wanderings he thought himself 
in the beautiful valley of his birth, with the bright waters 
of Champlain and the ranges of the Adirondacks, his 
loved summer resort, in view; but in his deeper conscious- 
ness there was ever the clear sight of that 'hill of God' 
which he was soon to 'ascend.' 'The shadows are 
about me,' he said to a friend. ' They are beckoning me 
from the other shore,' he said as he kissed his daughter 
good-night. To an intimate associate of many years and 
eminent physician, three days before he left us, he said : 
'You see the end is near; it is a mist — a thin -veil — that 
separates from the other life ; it is easily drawn aside, and 
the entrance within is a very simple act, but it is a momen- 
tous act — a momentous act — passing from the finite into 


the infinite. This I cannot comprehend — have never 
comprehended, but I have ever trusted in a living Christ, 
and am now willing to place my hand in his and confide 
myself to his guidance.' 

" As he said of another : ' This, friends, was the last 
testimony of our beloved brother till the heavens and 
earth be no more. Ages shall not add thereto, nor can 
they subtract from it.' " 

At a meeting of the Congregational Club at Kansas City, 
February 14, 1887, the following resolutions, offered by 
Judge Stephen P. Twiss, were adopted : — 

" Resolved, That we have received, with feelings of pro- 
found sorrow, intelligence of the death of Rev. Truman M. 
Post, D.D. 

" That we mourn his death as an incalculable and irrepar- 
able loss to the church of Christ, and especially to that 
branch of it of which we are humble members ; in which 
for many years as an advance guard amid great trials and 
difficulties, but always with an unfaltering integrity and a 
rich and consecrated scholarship, he successfully main- 
tained the Christian standard of justice to, and the equal 
rights of, all men. 

"That his daily walk, his long ministry and untiring 
service for the Master, manifested in a high degree, a 
modest and unassuming manhood, happily combined with 
Christian courage and valor, blended with charity and con- 
secration, supported by an abiding faith in God, should 
incite us to greater sacrifices and more devoted lives." 

The memorial occasion at Middlebury College, and the 
address by Daniel Roberts, have already been referred to 
in these pages. 

The above are only a few out of the published utter- 
ances, from newspapers, from churches, from various 
societies, religious and educational, and in personal com- 
munications which appeared in St. Louis and throughout 


the country, omitted here simply for want of space, all of 
which bore the same testimony of grief and love and 

We close the quotations with the following, from a 
poem by Mary Alden, one of the teachers in Monticello 
Seminary, and a dear friend of Dr. Post, which was read at 
the commencement exercises of this institution in 1887 : — 

Dolorosa l stands bereaved with her sorrow for a crown ! 
But as serried Hebrew armies piling surges could not drown, 
So, nor tears, nor lamentations can our consolations crowd, 
That the cameo face we cherished seems to-day archangel browed ; 

That the speech of our arch-poet likewise of the "golden mouth," 
Vibrant as a quivering harpstring swept by zephyrs of the south, 
In the passage of that spirit to diviner atmosphere, 
Is translated to a diction that the seraphs lean to hear ; 

That his thought with glowing figures arabesqued in patterns quaint, 

Like the canvas of old masters who so reverently did paint. 

Has been lifted from such levels to a higher plane than ours, 

In the temples which our dreaming coronets with phantom towers. 

For the death we dread so strangely and which each must meet alone, 
He called transit into summer from the steppes of frigid zone ; 
In the thick of that great darkness do transfigured forms appear? 
Does the vale of velvet shadows skirt the foothills of Mount Clear? 

Monticello's Prince of Israel doth but tread the path before ; 
He shall christen her fair daughters — must we write it ? — nevermore! 
But some loves refuse to perish, though they pass beyond our sight; 
Dead? Ah, no I Sancta Majestas, our new Laureate of the Light ! 

Dolorosa ! Speciosa ! weeping may endure a night ; 
Joy is charioteer of morning riding up the sapphire height ; 
Praise we wear as christening raiment, nor will be in sables clad ; 
Though our loss doth make us sorry, yet his gain cloth make us glad. 

Thus, our name illuminated as the missals were of old, 
By the monks who dipped hair-pencils in their inks of burnished gold, 
Claim we for a choice possession as such sacred memories are, 
Since there gleamed in Orient azure tbt white light of Bethlehem's 
Star ! 
] The class motto of that year. 



Some marked traits in the character of Dr. Post. — His enthusiasm in mental 
pursuits. — His manifold learning and freedom from pedantry. — His ideal- 
ism. — His poetic genius. — His favorite authors. — His love of nature. 
— His " Indian Summer " cast of thought. — His sense of the unseen 
world and of the value of human opportunity. — His mental and moral 
manhood. — His characteristics as a public speaker. — His pathos. — 
His purity and freshness of soul. — His religious beliefs. — The result 
of his life work. — Two pictures. 

AS it was the privilege of the writer to enjoy for 
many years the most intimate relations with the 
subject of this memoir, it may not be out of place to 
supplement the narrative with some personal impressions 
of the traits which peculiarly marked Dr. Post among the 
men of his generation. 

One characteristic to be noted at the outset, as it 
furnished perhaps the mainspring to his intellectual 
achievements, was what may be described as enthusi- 
asm in mental pursuits. Facility in the acquisition of 
knowledge he had in a rare degree, but this quality was 
something more. It made learning not only easy, but 
gave to it a positive relish and enjoyment. He found 
an inspiration in his studies. New fields of knowledge 
were explored, as a boy unravels the mysteries of lakes 
and streams in a forest. "Hills of difficulty" were his 
"Delectable Mountains." 

His ardor and enthusiasm in mental acquisition con- 
tinued fresh and unabated, even in those days when most 
men grow brain-wearied and feel that there is "nothing 



new under the sun." To the end of life he kept abreast 
with the latest literature of the magazines ; he found 
interest in each new discovery that widened the circuit 
of knowledge, and " as a stranger gave it welcome." 

In reading, his habit was to choose some subject spe- 
cially congenial to his mood, and for the time to give 
himself wholly to it. He read very much by topics, and 
on kindred topics ; and, in his library, light from the best 
authors was turned upon the special theme till it was made 
to glow and burn. 

Peculiarly in early and middle life his faculty for men- 
tal work was something marvelous. During these periods 
he read and wrote far into the night. In later times he 
retired earlier, but resumed his book and pen in the first 
gray of the morning, and often by gaslight. 

Dr. Post was a most affectionate man, and cheered by 
social converse ; yet among his most intimate associates 
the greater part of his time and thought was withdrawn 
and absorbed in his mental pursuits ; even in his own 
household he lived in a world very much by himself. 

In this connection it is noteworthy that although for 
many years a teacher he was as far as possible from 
pedantry or dogmatism. All his life a learner he had no 
ambition to parade his accomplishments in erudition ; and 
his manifold information, as occasion drew it out, often 
surprised even those who knew him best. He sought to 
impart principles more than rules. He pursued the study 
of tongues chiefly as a means of mental discipline and 
as furnishing the key to ethnic literature. History he 
valued mainly as a foundation for knowledge of that great 
science which he described as " sociology." 

In a large sense of the word Dr. Post was, in his habit 
and method of thinking, an idealist. 


His researches in history made him conversant with 
almost every clime and age. China and India, Egypt, 
Greece and Rome, of the ancient world, and Europe of 
the modern ages, unfolded their panorama to his mental 
vision. Before his glowing fancy commerce and art of 
the past displayed anew their treasures and revolution 
repeated its tragedy. Hero and sage and bard, no longer 
mortal, were builders of dynasties and institutions and 
molders of literature, through the centuries. Events 
were no cold, dead facts, but living and universal signs 
and exponents — touch-stones in the science of human 

His lectures, abounding in wealth of philosophy, were 
also picture galleries. 

That Dr. Post was a man of poetic genius, as shown 
in occasional flights, was a fact widely known as his 
public reputation. But only those with him in daily 
life could know how thoroughly the spirit of poetry 
permeated his whole nature. It was about him like an 
atmosphere ; it gave a coloring to his everyday thoughts 
and a dialect to his familiar speech ; it was a part of 
his mental constitution. His correspondence, even his 
household letters, were full of it. His conversation in 
the family gatherings at home was replete with pictur- 
esque legend and reminiscence. 

His love of poetry was fed on the best of ancient and 
modern classics — the Latin poets, Greek tragedy, the 
poetry of the Bible, and that of the best standard English. 

The choice passages of English poetry never dropped 
from his memory. Paradise Lost had shot its colors 
through his mind in boyhood ; and the first three cantos 
he knew by heart. Byron he read in early manhood. 
Childe Harold was at his tongue's end, and The 
Dream, and The Giaour, and Manfred, and The Siege of 


Corinth abounded in passages which he often quoted. 
Gray's Progress of Poetry, and the Elegy, and Macbeth 
were among his special fancies. 

In the younger days he loved the picturesque and 
martial verse, the " thoughts that breathe and words that 
burn." And his love for such poetry never ceased; but 
in the "years which bring the philosophic mind" his 
thoughts seemed to turn to the Ode on Immortality, and 
Yarrow Revisited, and to the Lines on the Wye. 

Without technical education in music he was soothed 
and charmed and set adrift in revery by simple and plain- 
tive strains, such as the songs of Moore and Burns, and 
hymns set to old tunes. The stately march of heroic 
verse was well fitted to his voice, and its measured 
cadences are associated with many a noble passage from 
poetry of this character. 

The traits of Dr. Post were a sisterhood. He was an 
idealist and a poet ; he was also an intense lover of all 
that was grand and beautiful in nature. Many of her 
aspects he loved not only because they were grand and 
beautiful, but because they pictured the scenery of child- 
hood and recalled its hallowed memories. Nature was 
his "nursing mother." Her spirit brooded over him in 
the boyhood at Shoreham, and year by year, through his 
subsequent life he received fresh tonic and inspiration 
from her life fountain. More than anywhere else he 
found food for the imagination and rest for the spirit 
and a sanctuary for communion with God, away from the 
haunts of men in the deep solitudes of nature. 

During the clays in Jacksonville, when the region about 
was a fresh wilderness, there was a novel charm and 
fascination for him in its primeval woods and lonely 
stretches of virgin prairie. While in St. Louis, often- 


times wearied of its dusty walks and Babel voices, he 
sought such solace as might be obtained for himself and 
his boys in short excursions out of town ; now and then 
on a holiday with fish rod and line along the banks of 
the Mississippi and the Meramec. 

A feeling which with him had preeminently the power 
of a passion — one that grew to be like the fondness for 
a human friend — was his love for the mountains of the 
old Vermont home. In later years, when most of his 
early friends were gone, those mountains still kept their 
tryst, cloudy and phantom-like as when they peopled the 
daydreams of youth, but unchanged, even in their shad- 
ows — not an outline shifted, not a hue added or taken 
away. Some of them, no longer far-off mysteries of the 
horizon, had learned to welcome the tired traveler with 
their separate stories of tramp and camp fire and cloud 
walks and skyey visions. 

Those now living who were companions of Dr. Post in 
the excursions, which on these visits to Vermont were 
always sure to be planned by some of the kindred, through 
the regions of Mansfield and Camel's Hump or of Lake 
George and the Adirondacks, will remember the enthu- 
siasm, like that of a boy on his vacation, and the nerv- 
ous vigor of step — amazing to the younger generation — 
with which the gray-haired clergyman wrestled through 
the forest tangle and made his way to the topmost 

To him there was memory of childhood and a challenge 
to manhood and a reservoir of perennial spring in those 
mountain scenes ; and it was simply a touch of nature 
when in the delirium of his last sickness he saw through 
the chamber window the hills of Charlotte. 

Dr. Post was certainly not, in the common acceptation 


of the word, a melancholy man — not of a morbid or de- 
sponding nature. But his mind was often in a mood 
akin to melancholy and frequently found in genius, par- 
ticularly in that of a poetic order — as said in his cen- 
tennial address at Middlebury, in " a sort of Michaelmas 
atmosphere, a soft, dim, Indian-summer air, the euthanasia 
of the year. A tender, dreamy mezzotint envelops it, 
half sadness, half repose, half sweetness and half pain." 
His horizon was far off. It was natural to him, and a 
trait which showed itself even in early life, to turn his 
thoughts tenderly and lovingly to scenes and incidents 
and faces of the gone years, and his personality itself, to 
those who knew him well, seemed touched with the 
pathos of a world that had passed away. He was often 
drawn into communion with "the world beyond," and 
that world threw back its solemn light upon his thoughts. 
The lines of Wordsworth which he was wont to quote 
described something of his own mental habitudes: — 

The clouds that gather round the setting sun, 
Do take a sober coloring from the eye, 
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality. 

Shortly before the last illness of his daughter, Mrs. 
Young;, one Sabbath afternoon her children had been 
learning the hymn commencing 

Softly now the light of day 
Fades upon my sight away. 

And not long after her death, at the close of the day, 
when the sun had set and the twilight was gathering, 
Dr. Post lifted the curtain of a window in the St. Louis 
home, and drawing to his side one of the family who 
had aided in teaching the hymn, stood for some time 
gazing silently at the red and fading sky. Then, evi- 
dently thinking of the incident above mentioned and of 


the mother of the little ones, he said in a tender cadence 
peculiar to himself : — 

" Soon for me the light of day, 
Shall forever pass away." 

There was with him a consciousness, that clung to 
human life like a shadow, of the returnlessness of time. 

"Once only a child, never a child again. Once only- 
manhood with its responsibilities and power and reason. 
Use them well. It never comes again. And once only 
old age with its powers and privileges : for age has its 
own peculiar march. Once only we pass through this 
period. We cannot go back and do the work over again. 
We cannot correct the missteps. He that goes down to 
the last long sleep, over him may roll the destinies of 
ages and empires ; but no tramp of armed men or 
pageant of peace, nor the tumult of commerce, nor the 
mighty din of life, shall awake the sleeper till the 
heavens be no more." 

In his reminiscences he spoke of himself apparently 
with a dash of regret as " a dreamer more than an ob- 
server." And in a certain sense such was the fact. In 
the events of the day — those which passed with the day, 
leaving no mark behind — he had little interest. He was 
very absent-minded ; forgetful of names — not infre- 
quently of appointments ; lacking, often much to his 
annoyance, in systematic arrangements. He had little 
aptitude for planning and organizing church work, or for 
any of the schemes and methods so often resorted to 
for drawing audiences and swelling church memberships. 
What he accomplished as a clergyman was due almost 
entirely to the inherent power of his preaching and the 
power of his character, and was accomplished almost as 
much for the denomination at large as for his own special 


He was certainly a dreamer, in this sense that he 
was much of the time in communion with a world 
which to the greater part of mankind is a world of 
dreams. Indeed he seemed, and especially in the later 
years, less a dreamer than a seer. He saw life in a dis- 
solving view in which the present and visible world melted 
away, and the unseen world — the true world of character 
and destiny — came into sight. Life in his consciousness 
was intensely real ; but it meant something far different 
from its conception by the masses of men. It was of 
immeasurable solemnity and moment, as a key to the 
hereafter. It was of unspeakable value, because so brief 
and unreturning. 

It has been said that Dr. Post was not a desponding 
man. He was far otherwise. Those very qualities which 
in most persons would take the zest out of life and para- 
lyze its energies had with him an opposite effect. No man 
was more earnest than he in making it tell on long results, 
in redeeming the time, in building character. His words 
often had the strains of a funeral march ; but they also 
sounded a trumpet call to duty, and fealty to high privi- 
lege, "while it is called 'to-day." How eloquent was 
the power, the mighty and transforming "power, of an 
endless life," so often preached by him, as witnessed by 
his own personal history ! 

Those of the present generation who knew Dr. Post in 
his declining years saw in him still a vigor of step and 
activity of brain which were belied by his pale face and 
white locks. Some of them had heard the legends of his 
youthful prowess. His fearless and uncompromising atti- 
tude in public affairs was a matter of general history. 
But only those who knew him long and thoroughly would 
comprehend in it's full force and all its bearings the 
mental and moral manhood of Dr. Post. 


Often in matters of opinion persons who mean to be 
honest and upright are overawed by strong and aggres- 
sive minds or bow to ancient maxims or precedents. But 
Dr. Post in his beliefs was emphatically a freeman. He 
believed in the lordship of reason and recognized no 
commanding authority in prelates or councils or sanctified 
names. He believed not only in the right of private 
judgment, but in the duty of asserting that right as 
occasion demanded. 

Many men who will obey the mandates of conscience 
when plainly declared will suffer unsettled issues to 
slumber on in its high court, where the question is of 
doubtful solution and self-interest may be at stake ; or 
in such cases they will permit the judgment itself to be 
led astray or darkened by specious sophistries. But rare 
indeed is the stamp of moral manhood which marked the 
character of Dr. Post — a manhood to grapple with ques- 
tions involving individual duty as they arise along the 
path of life, with the one dominant purpose of knowing 
the truth and the right and of shaping life accordingly, 
regardless of personal consequences. 

He had no fondness for polemics and no patience with 
casuistries. He seemed to reach the solution of questions 
without the labored processes of logic and almost by 
insight. Few men had his faculty of intellectual and 
moral discernment. 

His opinions were rarely on the extreme lines, but he 
believed in them through and through, and when occasion 
arose he advocated them without fear. He was constitu- 
tionally averse to strife, but when a cause in which he 
believed was at stake he was never a silent or lukewarm 

He had a thorough contempt for shams and a strong 
repulsion from disingenuous men. While he readily gave 



his trust, when once betrayed it was rarely ever restored. 
Nothing awakened his resentment more than injustice in 
any form ; and when his indignation was thoroughly 
stirred, rough and hard men would quail before it. 

When one contemplates a nature so endowed, so clear 
in its mental and moral perceptions, and so resolute in its 
stand for principle and so potent in persuasion and con- 
viction, and then thinks of it as tempered and hardened 
by long years of unswerving rectitude, he may form some 
conception of the force of character and of its power 
among men that marked the later manhood of Dr. Post. 

Few men in St. Louis have figured more on the stage 
of public life — in the pulpit and the lecture room, in 
conventions, on occasions of mourning and rejoicing, at 
social and literary and political gatherings — than Dr. 
Post. The peculiar characteristics of his sermons and 
addresses are therefore well known and need little more 
than a passing reference. 

His preaching has been characterized as Miltonic in its 
type. While it ranged over a vast variety of subjects, 
and could not be accurately described as confined to any 
special class of topics, it is true that very largely its 
themes were those of the eternal world ; and the imagery 
of such discourses had a vastness and dimness of out- 
line and masses of light and darkness which belong to 
scenery of the infinite and which mark the poetry of 

Who will forget also in his sermons a solemn mysti- 
cism of figure and symbol! — imagery : of seraphim and 
cherubim and archangel, and the "Great White Throne " 
— kindred in type with that of the vision on Patmos. 

Dr. Post was often spoken of as a "poet preacher" ; 


and in a much wider sense than as above indicated, that 
is, far more widely than in the vast and solemn sublime, 
the description was applicable. The wealth of his fancy 
seemed inexhaustible ; it gathered its pictures everywhere, 
from earth, sea and sky, and from classic art and story. 
But his sermons were never "prose poetry" in the sense 
that beauty of metaphor and word-painting were their 
distinguishing excellence — the uppermost thought — 
flowers which with the hearer bloomed in a mere garden 
of sentiment, taking no permanent root in his character. 
With Dr. Post the sermon was always an argument. 
Some vital truth, some earnest principle was woven into 
it like a theme in a symphony. Metaphor and illus- 
tration were always subsidiary — caryatides that both 
adorned and lifted up the dominant thought of the 

The argument lost none of its force because the syllo- 
gism was not laid bare. Oftentimes the figure was itself 
premises and conclusion and example, cast into one mold 
and with gathered intensity and power. 

In his sermons, as in his other literary productions, Dr. 
Post had the power of taking an abstract truth and so 
setting it in beauty of concrete image and metaphor that 
it would not be a mere intellectual thesis, but would 
charm and thrill the hearer, and live and glow and burn in 
his memory afterward. 

An extract from the " Palingenesy," already quoted in 
these pages, touching on a reconstruction of the states 
which reinstates slavery, is selected by Rev. Joseph Haven, 
the writer of an article in The Bibliotheca Sacra (vol. 
xxiv, pp. 105, 106) " On the Province of the Imagination 
in Sacred Oratory," as a masterpiece of English, showing 
how "an illustration or an apt and striking metaphor that 
shall embody and project an abstract truth or general 


principle into concrete reality is often the most effective 
form of argument." 

A few passages culled from the writings of Dr. Post, 
and placed together in a thesaurus at the end of this 
volume, will illustrate, to some extent, how striking 
and marvelous were his powers in the direction above 

Dr. Post's delivery did not bear the stamp of the 
schools. It had very little of the long and sweeping 
gesture of the elocutionist. His hands and arms were 
seldom still, and their restless motions might provoke the 
criticisms of a drill master. 

He spoke without manuscript or notes, other than 
slips of paper which he called " sign cards " ; and he 
never memorized his addresses either in whole or in 
part. Those published in the pamphlets were usually 
revised from shorthand ; and those which appeared in 
the daily newspapers were given to the reader verbatim. 
It followed that, in his addresses as they were delivered, 
there was not always the careful attention to literary 
finish that is found in the written essay. 

But in spite of these facts — perhaps to some extent by 
reason of them, Dr. Post had a strong hold — at times a 
marvelous hold — upon his audience. 

While the sentences of his extemporized discourses 
sometimes lacked the elaborate smoothness of the writ- 
ten or memorized address, on the other hand he was 
thoroughly master of his theme and of its dialect, and 
phrases singularly apt and images rare and noble came 
to his tongue as it seemed with the fresh inspiration of 
the moment. 

His addresses were in the last degree removed from 
exhibitions of rhetoric or declamation which are intended 
to call forth praise of the speaker. His very peculiarities 


served to emphasize the fact that he was completely for- 
getful of self and lost in his theme. There was a natural- 
ness, a simplicity, an unconsciousness of his surroundings, 
an earnestness and a directness in the presentation of 
truth in the addresses of Dr. Post that tended to make 
the audience, like himself, oblivious to everything but the 
topic itself. 

The master power of Dr. Post's eloquence lay in its 
minor strains. 

Speakers are not often found who will stir the audience 
to a high pitch of enthusiasm or passion ; but still more 
rare is the power that, like the rod on Horeb, can touch 
the deep and buried springs of the heart and cause strong 
and hard men to shed tears. Such power there was pre- 
eminently in the eloquence of Dr. Post ; and its sources 
are not far to seek. 

His endowments of the imagination, his affluence of 
diction, his faculty of "moral scene-painting," doubtless 
had marvelous power in chaining the attention and charm- 
ing the fancy of the audience ; and, in these qualities, 
he excelled especially in the il penseroso vein. Mrs. Post 
used to say that he "looked on the 'dark side'"; and 
reference has already been had to a tendency of his mind, 
half akin to melancholy. The mood and dialect of the 
elegy were familiar to him, and his thoughts were pecul- 
iarly attuned to themes of solemnity and sorrow. 

But the eloquence of Dr. Post lay in his own person- 
ality perhaps fully as much as in what he said. His 
pale and thoughtful face, his look of open, manly sincerity 
and kindly sympathy, would win a stranger before he had 
uttered a word. And when he spoke, especially on graver 
themes, there was something in the tones of his voice — 
not by any means the stereotyped accent often fallen into 



by clergymen, but an impressive tone pitched in the lower 
key and modulated with a tender and pathetic cadence, 
almost impossible to describe and always associated in 
memory with himself — which was sure to find a deep 
responsive chord in the breast of the hearer. 

No one who ever listened to Dr. Post on occasions of 
sorrow and mourning would fail to realize another more 
subtle and potent influence, which bound the audience 
to the speaker like an electric chain : and that was the 
magnetism of his personal sympathy ; the sure conscious- 
ness of those who heard him that his words were the 
direct outflow of a great and loving heart which felt the 
sorrows and carried the burdens of others as it did his 

During the later years, to those in thousands who 
knew his history, was there not also in his own person- 
ality that which the Greek philosopher pronounced the 
sine qua non of true eloquence? — the eloquence of his 
own character witnessing to so many years of stainless 
honor and steadfast integrity, and pure and Christly living? 

A shining trait of Dr. Post was the purity of his nature. 
The quality was not the negative one, found in thousands 
who have kept "unspotted from the world." His purity 
was no passive virtue ; his thoughts dwelt in a high and 
noble atmosphere and his converse was tonic as the air of 
a mountain crag. 

There was a species of alchemy in the touch of his 
friendship that brought out the gold in men. He dis- 
cerned and drew forth what was good in them, and they 
grew better by his association. 

To the last he preserved a youth of the soul. His 
sympathies and attachments went out to the young. 
He had 1 o low and pessimistic views of human nature. 


He held fast to his belief in exalted manhood and 
womanhood. He had kept faith with his own early ideas, 
and they did not wither with youth. Even the romantic 
sentiments, which most men survive and afterward 
look back upon as youthful folly, continued green in his 
old age. 

With all his manifold learning and research in theology, 
the religious beliefs of Dr. Post were in keeping with 
his character — simple, manly, earnest. He held to the 
great columnar truths of the gospel. The central object 
of his system was the " uplifted Christ drawing all men 
unto him," the living and personal Saviour touching and 
quickening the heart of the world. 

His faith grew simpler and stronger with time. We 
quote again from a letter written near the close of his 
life and given on the title page of this memoir : " My 
circle of exact knowledge seems shrinking as I descend 
the vale of years. But I feel more strongly than ever 
that my Father and God will be with me and bear me up 
through the mystery of the eternal future." 

The above are some of the characteristics, as they dwell 
prominently in memory, and portrayed as nearly as possi- 
ble from the life, of a grandly ideal man. 

It is not intended here to dwell on the public career of 
Dr. Post. His championship of Congregationalism in its 
first struggle in Missouri ; the character and standing of 
his published works; his connection with various insti- 
tutions of learning ; his advocacy of the cause of freedom 
and national union, — are all topics which have been 
gone over in these pages, and indeed they are matters 
of general history. 



And it is needless to enlarge upon his exalted life, his 
stainless integrity, his broad humanity — qualities which 
made him universally honored and beloved. They are 
known by heart in the community where he had his walk 
for nearly forty years, as they are a part of his name and 
fame everywhere. 

Other themes there are which will dwell longest and 
deepest in memory — his life in the circle of home, his 
tender and thoughtful and great-hearted love and care, 
which through all the years "knew neither variableness 
nor shadow of turning," the fidelity of his teaching and 
example, the warm light of his presence, and the loving 
and hallowed thoughts which gather about his memory 
— which never can be told, and belong to a world now 

Widespread and lasting as are the manifest achieve- 
ments of his life, of him it is preeminently true that its 
mightiest power and influence are beyond any human 
record or estimate. No one understood more thoroughly 
than he the vanity of earthly fame. And in a nobler field 
than that of any human ambition is the true harvest of 
his labors. Their longest and grandest results are to be 
traced to the personal power of his life, in its silent 
touches upon thousands of hearts and lives, for time and 
eternity ; strengthening the faith and lifting the aspira- 
tions of men, and through the appulse of his own char- 
acter on those of his day and generation, sending out 
waves of influence beyond any mortal calculation, even 
to the remotest future. 

How fitting here are the words already quoted and 
uttered by himself over the coffin of a loved friend and 
great and good man ! 

" Is all the opulence of such a life perished ? No ! 


there is that in its impress on the world that shall never 
pass away. Man's words and deeds and spirit live after 
him. That life will pulse on in the veins of his children 
and his children's children, a power for good through 
coming years ; and when human memories perish, and the 
footsteps of human love and honor and sorrow shall cease 
to visit his tomb, when the mourners and the mourned of 
to-day shall lie down together in the chambers of silence, 
still in the great electric conduction of thought and senti- 
ment from mind to mind and age to age it shall live on 
incorporate, if unrecognized, with the action and feeling 
of the world in the currents of the future, till time 
itself shall lapse. Nor then, nor ever, shall it die. In 
the eternal memory of God, in eternal consequence and 
eternal judgment, our mortal lives shall live on immortal." 
We cannot think of Dr. Post as dead. His saintly life, 
always having in it so much of the other world, in death 
had an easy transition. He had his citizenship in that 
world, and while here, and more and more in the later 
years, his thoughts and character seemed to belong to eter- 
nity rather than to time. He is living where old age and 
growing infirmities " can never touch him further," as we 
cannot but believe in reunion with the loved of other 
years and still in his great heart of love compassing those 
whom he has left behind. 

This sketch is prefaced with two pictures ; and as we 
close it two faces present themselves through the past, 
one in the far background and one close at hand. They 
are very different and yet one ; and each is eloquent with 
its own story of the same life. 

In the law office of Henry B. McClure in Jackonville, 
in 1845 or thereabouts, hung a copy of a portrait — now 
well known — of Rufus Choate, which was at that period 


not infrequently mistaken for that of " Professor Post." 
And there was in the horizontal lines of the forehead, 
slightly arching with the brows and underneath masses 
of dark hair, and in the deeply musing and shadowed cast 
of face, a resemblance, very likely a strong one, between 
the portrait and Professor Post of College Hill. Forty 
years later, the face, in its deep lines grown yet deeper 
and with the marks of added time upon it, yet seems to 
have grown younger. On the street coming towards the 
gate of his home in St. Louis is a tall form in black, 
slightly stooping, and with steps somewhat slower than 
formerly. He has a cane in hand and wears glasses, 
and his hair is turned to silver. The face is written 
over with the story of lifelong integrity and manly 
honesty and noble thinking. It is one which draws a 
child, and from which anything low or mean in human 
nature would shrink away. As it looks up and kindles 
with recognition, it is kindly and full of blessing. It 
is the same face which has looked so lovingly through 
all the past. But somehow it seems to have grown 
saintly as if touched by a light from that world which 
is drawing near. 



" Under the stimulus of gold and glory she [Athens] blooms forth 
the ultimate flower of ancient civilization, a creation unique amidst 
those of ancient commerce, gymnast and victor of the seas, mistress 
of a thousand states and a thousand isles, purple and golden with the 
trophies of battle and traffic, wearing the diadem of Hellenic chief- 
taincy. She rises on the eye of history, if not robed in the gorgeous 
magnificence of Tyre, a combination never witnessed before, of beauty 
with strength, of exquisite taste with heroic vigor, and of Oriental 
riches and voluptuousness with Occidental daring and enterprise ; wear- 
ing the hue of every genius, and changeful and glittering as her skies 
and her waves. Such another spectacle the world has never seen ; a 
picture of vast commercial opulence wedded to a civilization so refined, 
so energetic, so imperial. In the picture gallery of history she stands 
alone both in finish and in grouping, like the artistic miracles of Prax- 
iteles and Apelles, blending, in personality all unique, her muse's 
dream of .Pythian power and beauty with her tutelar genius of patient 
industry, invention, art, and political wisdom that stood embodied in 
the marble of her Parthenon. She shines across the ages like her own 
Acropolis gleaming over the Saronic : gold, empire, liberty, genius, 
constellate above her : and the trophies of commerce and battle, with 
those of art, eloquence, philosophy and song, hang together on the 
glittering columns of her Propylasa. 

" Perhaps no picture in the past would more attract and interest us, 
could we recall it, than a glimpse of her seaport — the Piraeus — in the 
time of Pericles, 470-430 B.C., a gay, animated, picturesque miniature 
of the world of that age ; the emporium of the productions, industry 
and art, of many climes. History exhibits few spectacles more brilliant 
or magnificent than that presented by it when amid music and festive 
and sacrificial pomp and applause 'outvoicing the deep-mouthed sea' 



the Athenian youth embarked — a brilliant, garlanded victim-pageant 
— in an expedition against lordly Syracuse, the Dorian centre of Greek 
power in the west. The graphic pen of the most tragic of historians 
has made the scene vivid as it is memorable in the perspective of the 
Past. Athens pours forth her multitudes that day — her wisdom and 
beauty and valor and genius — to auspicate the embarkation. The old 
grow confident, and enthusiasm thrills the veins of youth, as they look 
on the gorgeous and mighty armament. The galleys with their models 
of grace and strength, decked and furnished with the sagacity and 
bravery of art, their images of gods and heroes, and their linen sails, 
snow-white, gleaming double in the Ionian sun and wave, their count- 
less streamers flaunting with every hue in the upper and nether azure, 
they seem another Athena of purple and scarlet and marble and gold, 
a dream of the sky and the sea. floating between either, starting to life 
under the charm of music. The public prayers cried by the herald 
and its solemn repeat running along the ships, echoing from the waves 
like responses of the gods of the sea to libations that from cups of 
silver and gold fell like a purple rain on its bosom, the stormy paean of 
the military, the wild refrain of the oarsmen, mingling with martial 
or voluptuous strains of the Dorian or the Phrygian moods, 

' Hymning of highest Jove, 
The queen of intellect and the queen of love, 
The lord of light or god of the rosy wine,' 

— these, with the shouts of the sea to the shore and the shore to the 
sea, all reverberate from wave and cliff and Pyraean walls till they answer 
back from the glittering Acropolis, where At hence in armor, on her 
glorious Virgin-house catches the Eleleul and brandishes her spear 
towards the sea. The air quivers like the harp strings of the Sun-God 
who never has looked down on a more magnificent spectacle. 

" The deep below pulsates under the mighty joy. It is the queen of 
Grecian culture, in her gold of commerce and war, going forth as in a 
revel of her Bacchus on the Saronic. In the eye of history that revel 
changes to the funeral pageant ; that tempest of exultant sound to a wail 
over the young, the gifted and the brave, that shall return no more. 
That proud expedition is to find its grave, and with it, that of the 
commercial supremacy of Athens, in the depths of Sicilian seas. Sea- 
born she is, and her doom is of the sea ; the sea her field of empire 
and of victory and her grave." — From fragmentary unpublished MS. 
of Lecture on Ancient Commerce. ,' 

1 Found after the previous portion of the Memoir had been given to the printer. 


" In the past she [Commerce] is exhibited almost as a creative power. 
At her touch the desert sands rise into architectural marbles ; the for- 
ested wild and splintered cliff group themselves into forms of art and 
beauty, and the solitude wakes to the din of mechanism and the tramp 
of nations. The drear rock, under her spell, grows resplendent with 
opulence ; the dismal marsh shoots into mast and column and spire ; 
the desolate places are hung with purple and scarlet, the woven picture 
and the tissued gold. The mountains stoop for her, and the valleys 
rise ; realms are conquered from the sea, and the dividing ocean becomes 
the highway of civilization. She more than discovers Californias : she 
creates them ; yea more, she creates that of which all the gold that 
glitters on the surface or that hides in the depths of the earth is but 
a poor representative — free, sagacious, powerful men. Builder and 
civilizer of cities and empires, mother of laws, quickener of art, elabo- 
rator and diffuser of ideas, humanizer, liberator, conciliator, pacificator 
of nations — such are some of her prerogatives in history.'" — Idem. 

" The origin of commerce is found in the geologic and climatic 
constitution of our globe and in the relation of mutual wants and 
capacities of supply which this constitution establishes between differ- 
ent regions of the earth. It is an ordinance of human interdependence 
and brotherhood bound up with the structure of the earth we inhabit 
and written by its Architect on the face of the earth and on its sky." 
— Idem. 

"Instead of the East Indiaman with its huge bulwarks and bristling 
cannon, and with its thousands of sailors and soldiers, passing like a 
floating island or a winged city over the vast waste of ocean, and coast- 
ing southward well-nigh to the Antarctic circle to reach the clime of 
spices, we must picture to ourselves the bronzed, sinewy, turbaned Arab, 
or the shag-clad Massagetae, and the parti-colored, gayly caparisoned 
caravan, with clouds of camels and of cavalry, moving like drifting 
oases amid the solemn and illimitable Sahara; in the midst of which. 
on some island of green sprang up a Tadmor, or in some rocky fastness 
a Petra, or on the rich alluvium of some river margin glittered a 
Damascus or Alexandria, a Samarcand or a Babylon." — Idem. 

" Her vast and gloomy, gorgeous and bloody superstition presses 
down the millions, like her own mighty, mysterious, awful Himalaya 
with heights glittering in frozen, lifeless splendors, where the moon- 
beams and sunbeams paint dazzlingly beautiful or terrible phantasma- 
goria on the icy face of eternal death, while the dark, ponderous mass 
below lies in deep shade and cavernous, sunless glooms. 11 — From 
unpublished Lecticre on India. 


" Like the broken marbles of Greece, it [the Sanskrit] speaks of a 
past which has left in its successors no peer. It lies, like the bow of 
Ulysses which living hand cannot bend, or the harp of Apollo rifted 
from the skies which mortal cunning cannot tune or wake to melody." 
— Idem. 

" The vast Persian military empire rises and falls ; the star of Greece 
culminates in the ascendant and sinks into a night of ages ; the pen- 
nant of Carthage floats over the western seas and sinks in the waves; 
the meteor of Macedonian empire streams up the skies of the Orient 
and goes out amid the gardens of Semiramis ; the dynasties of the 
Seleucidae and Ptolemies run their course of opulent and powerful 
centuries and pass away ; the Roman Empire throws its dome over 
the ancient world for ages, till even its mighty manhood grows old 
and falls under the hand of Time ; still China has been simply and 
movelessly conservative — moving only on the dead swell of the past. 

"So in modern history; its vast events and periods of change, 
revolution and agony, have passed, while she has seemed petrified 
and changeless like the face on an Egyptian obelisk amid the shifting 
scenery of time. The old world falls and long drear ages of wild bar- 
barism roll over the west. The Saracen empire starts from the Arabian 
deserts and storms over southern Asia and northern Africa, and has its 
brilliant noon of centuries; and it passes. The mighty empire of 
Charlemagne lifts itself out of the chaos of the Middle Ages and rears 
its bulwarks against the inundation of nations, and falls to pieces ; still 
China remains and the index-hand on the clock of time seems not to 
have moved a minute. 

•' The tempest of Western nations beats for centuries in the crusades 
on western Asia, and is laid. The Papacy starts from the grave of the 
secular world-empire of Rome — a mighty and fearful shadow she rises 
over a barbaric world ; she has her baleful and lurid centuries in the 
midnight of modern history and declines toward the west : still China 
stands in the waste of ages pointing to the far past. 

li Nations are organized in the west and a political system of European 
states arises and sinks in ruins and is reconstructed; the new world 
comes into history, and empires and civilizations are developed in the 
bosom of the Atlantic sea. The Reformation convulses and shakes the 
world ; the long paroxysms of modern history subside ; the English Rev- 
olution startles the west with its clangor of the fall of hierarchy and 
throne ; and it passes. Finance and commerce throw their chainwork 
of silk and gold — but chainwork still — around modern civilization. 



Ages of Titanic heaven-assailing philosophy run their impious and ruin- 
ous courses. The delirium tremens of the French Revolution shakes 
the occidental world and her orb of empire streams baleful in the 
north and sets amid the Boreal lights of the Polar night. And, still, 
China slumbers on far beyond the reach of this din ; like the inmate of 
an enchanted chamber in a palace where the sleeper sleeps on amid 
orgies of wild wassail and rapine and festivity and slaughter, or like a 
face on an Egyptian sarcophagus looking out with the same dull, 
changeless, lifeless aspect while the storms of empires and ages sweep 
across the sky." — Fro//i unpublished Lecture on China. 

In a us. lecture on Ancient Egypt, the writer gives a picture of 
her ruined cities and " their huge prostrate columns of porphyry that 
seem like the fallen pillars of an elder sky ; their stupendous gateways 
that seem as portals of elder gods ; their gigantic forests of syenite col- 
onnades or mystic sphinxes or towering cabalistic obelisks emerging 
from the desert sands ; their sunken labyrinths that imitated and emu- 
lated the mazes of the Zodiac ; and the solemn cities of the dead, 
that, with their vast, cavernous recesses and mummy millions and stiff 
but strongly marked and pictured sculpture, exhibit a mimic mockery 
or a sorrowing, longing memory of the world of life — or perhaps 
rather a semblance of that underworld where the shadowy nations 
enacted in silent and phantom show the passion and achievement of 
remembered mortality." 

• ' A vast gulf arises before me. thick with many phantoms. Powers of 
light and gloom are struggling there, the powers of anarchy and ruin, 
and a paralytic conservatism with impotent curb maddening the fiery 
courser of progress till the sun-car leaves its fixed, high, beneficent 
orbit of movement, and burns, blazes and wastes, through the heavens. 
I see them too, grim prisoners of infernal night; fearful Briarean forms 
such as ancient fable called from the realms of nether gloom into the 
light of pale, affrighted Olympus. These are revolutions. But I see 
even these soothed, serened, humanized, Christianized, under the bland 
influence of a holier and more living faith. 

" I see the mighty forces of Liberty and Truth and Love emerging. 
I see awful destinies in conflict for humanity. They hide their faces in 
cloud. But I fear not, for I see among them a Mighty One crowned 
long ages ago as King of coming ages and his face is such as the king 
of Babylon saw in the midst of the furnace — like unto the Son of 


God." — From unpublished Lecture on Philosophy of the Progress of 

" The advance of society is like that of the heavens in the Ptolemaic 
system of astronomy — the great starry sphere moving steadfastly on, 
though orbs within it meantime exhibited all the while many a pertur- 
bation, many a mazy and retrograde movement in their epicyclical 
wheel." — Idem. 

"Other towns can often look back with pride to their early history, 
and relumine in the associations of the past the waning love of liberty 
and truth. Boston has her Faneuil Hall, Charleston her Fort Moultrie ; 
but Alton must wear it upon her escutcheon, in characters as imperish- 
able as the rocky bluffs around her, that in her early youth she crouched 
before not one but a hundred masters ; that, in her, freedom of speech 
found its first American martyr ; that she did all that in her immaturity 
and feebleness she could do, to bury freedom of press, and with it the 
American Constitution, in a bloody grave." — From Address to the 
People of Alton. 

" He who strikes at freedom of speech is guilty of treason, not only 
to his country, but to his kind." — Idem. 

" You made, as far as you could, a solemn oblation of the principles 
of universal liberty and of the future hopes of the race upon the same 
ensanguined altar." — Idem. 

" You have made the object of your hate a talisman and a power 
worth more to him and his cause than a hundred years of life. You 
cannot bury his shed blood in the earth. It will have voice. It will 
plead louder than a thousand presses. From its every drop will spring 
an army of living antagonists. Did you dream that in this age you 
could muzzle free discussion? You might as well attempt to muzzle 
yEtna. Did you hope to chain liberty of speech? You might as well 
lay grasp on Niagara." — Idem. 

" Forgive us, friends, if we seem somewhat strange to you to-day ; if 
on this anniversary festival we appear almost as with sphinx faces, 
turned with sad, steadfast look to the land of the Nevermore. 1 ' —From 
Class Semi-Centennial Address at Middlebury College. 

" In those terrible hours, when — Faith and Hope not yet grown to 
strength and confidence — the awful curtain was lifted, and through 


days and nights which seemed ages I looked with the vividness of 
Dante's vision into the open secret of the hereafter — a hereafter 
through which I had not yet learned to walk with the Son of God — 
that revelation was to the new life with me like Dante's initiation to 
the walks of Paradise through infernal and purgatorial gloom and flame. 
Then was the shadow of the everlasting cast over the field of the 
present world, and the heart-beat of time set forever to the pulses of 
eternity/' — From Congregationalism : A Life Story. 

" As the day waned a thunderstorm sprang out of the torrid sky and 
caught me ' far out at sea ' on the treeless waste of prairie. Its coming 
seemed like the march of God from Mount Paran — so fearful was the 
roll of his chariot wheels over that floor of the world, and ' burning 
coals went forth at his feet.' But it passed, and his glory was on the 
bow of peace that hung on the retreating cloud ; and as the spring 
thrilled all things with fresh and grateful pulse ' the whole earth was 
full of his praise.' " — idem. 

"The Wabash murmured and the forest birds caroled on my ear; 
but he still sleeps on : for him no bird of morning sings ; for him yon 
fresh and glorious sun shines in vain. Nature smiles, but not for him. 
The woodland is wildly beautiful, but not to his sealed eye. The voice 
of earthly hope and love shall steal on his silent ear no more. He 
sleeps from the land of his childhood and the land of his love far 
away." — From letter written after death of Aurelian Post. 

" Methinks I could not triumph to think that my soul, with its vast 
aspirations after the Everlasting and Good and Fair and Great, its 
memory and affection, its hopes, its reason grasping after imperishable 
truth, its ' thoughts that wander through eternity,' its faith and love 
that had gone forth toward an imagined Holy One, and its moral nature 
capable of gearing immortal glory and beauty, was soon to lie down on 
the breast of corruption and cease to be ; that heaven, the mourner's 
dream, the martyr's goal, the pilgrim's home, the life-hope of suffering 
virtue, had become to me a dull, meaningless word, a beautiful mirage 
vanished from the illimitable desert of being." — From article on 
hnmortality of the Soul, published in The Bibliotheca Sacra in 1 844. 

" I have been thinking how glad and bright and tuneful the earth will 
move on a thousand years hence, forgetting to mourn us and the 


loving, beautiful, and good, as it has forgotten all that fed on the gifts 
of life before us. And I feel myself a passing echo, a fading shadow 
amid a world of such." — From letter written in Jacksonville in 1848. 

" The days are as ardent as the passions of youth and the nights as 
soft with moonlit beauty as its dreams." — Idem. 

" We love to seek converse with sorrow and the dead where the outer 
world seems in sympathy with the mourner ; where the trees gather in 
gothic solemnity and cathedral gloom around the grave, and where 
nature, with the touching similitudes of her own brief bloom and 
transient summer beauty, of her swift decay and sure renewal of life, 
may image the brief flower of our mortal being, its hastening deca- 
dence and its immortal hope." — From Address at Opening of Belle- 
fontaine Cemetery. 

"It is well to pause and listen at times to the stern but merciful 
monitor that warns us that we are but shadows in a world of shades." 
— Idem. 

" Here we feel it is fitting to lay our dead on the bosom of sympa- 
thizing nature. Let the violet and harebell kiss the turf above them ; 
let the rose and ivy embower, and the oak and evergreen wave above 
their silent rest ; let the zephyrs, freely visiting, sigh through the whis- 
pering leaves with the voice of the past ; let the night wind through 
the solemn woods wail its requiem for the departed ; let the moonlight 
stream over them, through the shadowy branches, like the light of 
other days, and let the stars of even, in tranquil and holy watch, look 
down upon their graves, like celestial Love watching their resurrec- 
tion." — Idem. 

" Let pyramid, column and statue with heavenward hand, and slab 
with graven cherubim, who speak of immortality and poin* to God — 
let them be to us ever the index fingers, which time, in the shadow of 
vanity, still extends toward the world of everlasting light, pointing 
ever to Him who sitteth above the stars, wearing the vesture dipped in 
blood, the Conqueror of death, the Achiever of immortality for man." — 

" There wandered the happy amid amaranth and ever-blooming 
asphodel; or zephyrs sighed along the stream of oblivion, and funeral 


trees waved dusky branches amid the pale skies of eternal pain. The 
white-robed walked along the streets of pearl and the river of life, or 
the lost shrieked around the City of Dis and the Burning Sea, or the 
departed stretched their shadowy hands across the Dark River, still 
longing and loving, toward the children of mortality." — From Address 
oti Genius. 

" Comet minds there are, which like those wanderers of immensity 
whichever side the orb of light they turn, project their ray ever to the 
opposite realm of night. Drawn though they may be within the very 
verge of heaven, still turns their vision ever to the nether glooms ; and 
hurrying in seeming impatience and pain through their perihelion, 
they follow their projected visual rays into the dark and infinite void." 
— Idem. 

"I look above — there burns Orion in the sky, as he burned over 
the birth-year of time, and will burn over his last ; yea, as he burned 
over my own far-fled years of dreamlike childhood and glorious youth. 
But beyond his fires I see them — the shining faces — the loved and 
faded from the earth. There, there, they live and love. They beckon 
me with their white hands, but no whisper comes, save rifts of angel 
melodies from that far world." — From A Farewell to 1850. 

"It was the sigh of the dying year, whose latest shadow now lingers 
upon yonder sky like a film cloud across the moon. ' Farewell,' I hear 
it whisper, ' I wish thee joy of my newborn brother. May the wings of 
all his hours be tipped for thee with gold. Use him well, but trust him 
not too much. The rosy hues of youth are now upon his eye, and his 
pencil is dipped in dreams ; but he will not love thee more than I have 
done, and may not serve thee better. Much he will surely take away of 
what thou lovest — much of thy swift-winged life — he may bear off all ; 
at least, his pinions, be they of ebony or gold, shall waft thee nearer 
life's solemn close and nearer the eternal doom. May they fit thee for 
it, calm thy passions, temper thy hopes, reform thy evil, and bring thee 
gentle charity, true wisdom and heavenly love. In this solemn night 
and solitude be thy life's fever soothed and the strife of thy life's battle 
stayed ; and be thy hates, political and personal, if such thou hast, 
subdued to sympathy and pity ; directed, as this hour reminds thee, 
against the fellows of thy frailty and thy transientness, whose life, like 
thine, is but as the wind in yonder silent sky, that passeth away and 
cometh not again."— Idem. 


"What are we, and all this proud, worshiped, Godlike Present 
with all its passion and beauty and intellect and achievement, but the 
foam-crest of a surge on time's solemn sea, upheaved a moment in the 
light, then rolling on in lone and infinite darkness?" — From The 
Voices of History. 

"The mission of reform is not simply to destroy. Destruction is 
but vulgar work ; but to create approaches the divine. If you can only 
tear down existing order and leave society in chaos, your highest glory 
is that of an architect of ruin. As order, in an imperfect but progres- 
sive world, lives only by reform, so without order, reform itself perishes. 1 ' 
— Idem. 

" Amid martyrs 1 tombs and quenched brands and inquisitorial cells 
and wars flaming with many a red cross ; amid the wordy thunders of 
belligerent schools, and Babels of discordant tongues now silent as that 
of Shinar ; o'er many a dusty symbol, and tomes of statutes grim and 
bloody ; cathedral and chapel smoldering on the ground, miter and 
tiara trailed in the dust, and white surplice changed to the crimson 
streamer of carnage — I see the Muse of Ecclesiar-tical History, 
standing amid the prostrate forms of peace and sweet charity and 
Heavenly Truth, a Cassandra, alas ! doomed for ages to prophesy 
in vain." — Idem. 

" Learn that Charity is not indifferentism, nor gentleness cowardice, 
nor temperance lukewarmness, nor faith bigotry. Nor, again, is diver- 
sity schism, or variety discord, or difference hate, or a school necessarily 
a faction, any more than dumbness is concord, despotism order, or 
death peace." — Idem. 

" Have you ever stood in the darkness and solitude of a winter's 
night beside the Niagara River where it lashes itself into foam prepara- 
tory to the fearful leap of the cataract? Beneath and around all is 
confusion and turmoil and earth-shaking uproar — an agony, a ruin, a 
madness, of the elements. Your eyes are dizzy with the whirl of the 
mad waters. . . . 

" In such a moment have you looked up to the ever-tranquil sky, and 
beheld the stars of night shining in serene and holy beauty forever 
there, looking down in seraph meekness upon the eternal uproar and 
strife and torture of nature beneath? If you have, you have seen 
imaged Eternal Love overwatching human passion, agony, and strife, as 


they for a moment convulse the tide of mortal time, and leap the dark 
cataract.' 1 — Idem. 

. . . " If we come down to times bordering on our own, where our 
memories and affections attach to the actors, and they seem as yet within 
the circle of living sympathies, the lessons, more moving, are not less 
instructive. The Muse of History seems to bear us to the moonlit 
picture gallery of some once familiar but now ruined mansion, where 
all along the wainscot the buried locks seem waving from the canvas, 
and the faces of the good, the pious, the brave, the gifted and the 
lovely, seem by the broken moonbeam to look on us like life ; living 
command seems still to repose on brows which long since wore the 
mightier awe of death ; lips long since sealed seem ready to open 
again with the shaft of wit, or charm of persuasion, or the beautiful 
music of love ; forms long ago wedded to corruption seem lit up again 
with the glow of mortal loveliness, and countenances seem kindling 
anew with earthly devotion, that long since amid the blessed ranks 
have reflected the brightness of God. 

"For a moment the illusion lasts, then vanishes and leaves us alone 
with empty images. The night winds sigh along the desolate cham- 
bers like the voice of the Past. The uncertain moonbeams stream 
along the silent corridors like the light of other days ; and the eyes on 
all sides around gleam on us with the ghastly vacancy of the grave. 
We feel that the dead are there, and through the dim light we seem to 
see their shadowy hands beckoning us to join their vast and silent 
throng. 11 — Idem" 

. . . "The eighteenth century may be fitly defined as a period of 
Religious Eclipse in modern civilization. . . . An eclipse, not a sun- 
set — for the orb of Christian light and life was still climbing the 
skies. The world passes into profound shade — but though dark and 
chill, it was not the shadow of night. It was an eclipse in which the 
satellite lunar orb — the reflector of the great central light — came 
between the earth and the light. The Church intervened between God 
and the world, between humanity and Jesus Christ. 11 — From The 
Skeptical Era in Modern History. 

..." The era of skepticism opens with the moral constitution of 
the world relaxed, and its life-pulse beating heavy and feeble. Its tone 
is low ; the vital principle faint. It is a time for disease to set in. 
The guardian forces of the social system are asleep. Its energies of 


resistance are paralyzed, and the elements of corruption are at work ; a 
dissolution is begun. We feel, as we enter the period in question, that 
we approach some melancholy catastrophe of human society ; one of 
those sad, chill, feeble, foul epochs which mark the decay and death of 
nations and civilizations. Its type of life and passion is worn out, and 
itself in collapse. Chivalry, honor, heroism and faith lie dying; the 
mean and crawling vices — the worms of dissolution begin to appear. 
The world seems old and wan. The air grows chill, the gloom 
thickens. We feel we are entering the penumbra of the eclipse, and 
the occultation of the orb of light and warmth is at hand. Thus the 
skeptical cycle impresses us as it enters. But there are also in its 
aspect portents of change. Society is torpid, spent, faint. But we 
may prophesy for it there is fever lurking in that ague stage, and mad- 
ness and delirium are couched in that atony. It is a world where all 
things seem portentous. We snuff the plague in that stagnant air. 
We feel death in its chill and gloom. We feel the shadow of the 
destroying angel in the sky. We momently wait his epiphany. That 
sky, we feel, is to kindle to another hue. Blood red it rises before us, 
and beneath it twenty millions of victims. We hear the edict, ' These 
millions for the guillotine ; these for sword ; for famine, and pestilence 
and the rage of the elements these ; and these for madness and terror 
and sorrow and shame.' There is a tumult of nations raging against 
God. The abyss yawns under European civilization, and Hell from 
beneath is stirred to meet the mighty, the gifted, the brave, the beauti- 
ful, the noble at their coming." — Idem. 

. . . "Not now for God or glory or beauty, but for gain were all 
things. For this men plotted and fought and chaffered; for this they 
made treaties, alliances, peace and war; for this they legislated, 
planted colonies, established manufactures, tariffs, trade-laws, colonial 
and commercial systems, coerced agriculture, instituted banks, inflated 
and exploded financial bubbles. For this they explored new seas and 
savage continents ; they ravaged ancient realms ; plundered barbaric 
monarchies ; they dismembered kingdoms ; they blotted old nation- 
alities from the map of Europe ; they prostrated the public law and 
political system of Europe in the dust. . . . Faith, honor, heroism, 
patriotism, justice, chastity, piety — all had their prices. Power, 
empire, beauty, fame, grace, the favor of man, and even of God were 
exposed for sale. Courts, monarchs, hierarchs, pontiffs, the church, 
and even heaven itself, in priestly finance, were venal." — Idem. 



" The history of Christianity in the past is of a life. It shall be so 
in the future — a life climbing ever mightier and loftier, in a more 
inspiring atmosphere, and clearer light, and larger vision. It is not to 
die : not till the throb for immortality has ceased in the human breast, 
or an answer, surer and more hopeful than that of the risen Christ, 
shall come to the ages applying the ear to the abyss of the grave : not 
till that risen Christ has ceased to be the uplift of the world, His Gos- 
pel to be the power of God unto Salvation, and the vision of the 
beauty and glory of Christ has sunk from the gaze of the world into 
the deeps of the eternal past, and the New Jerusalem, with its faces of 
the loved and beautiful and blessed, has been resigned by man to ever- 
lasting oblivion ; not till then shall the stone rolled by the angels from 
the door of the sepulcher be rolled back again, and the history of the 
Church of Christ become epitaph — the memory of a dream the sweet- 
est, most beneficent, most beautiful, most blessed, that ever descended 
on human vision, but drifting itself to the same grave to which it 
marshaled the deluded race of man. Till then history, standing bv 
the open tomb of ' Him that livethiand was dead, and is alive for ever- 
more, 1 shall utter with the beloved disciple, ' This is the true God and 
eternal life.' : ' — From "Charge" given to Hugh McDonald Scott at 
his inauguration as Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the Chicago 
Theological Seminary. 

"As I looked on that majestic manhood lying pale and low, I felt 
that God had answered prayer — had most truly 'blessed' him. I 
was comforted for the fact that those lips were now forever mute, as I 
remembered that their mortal utterances had ever been true to liberty 
and humanity, to his country and to God, and now by martyrdom had 
been placed amid the hallowed and immortal forces of history. I was 
consoled that that hand could never again greet my own with its genial, 
generous pressure, in the thought that it had been nerved amid its 
pulses of life to write the Proclamation of Freedom to an enslaved 
race.'' — From Sermon after the Death of President Lincoln, on Inter- 
cessory Prayer. 

"Usually, universal principles are born of special occasions — the 
vindication of a right, in a certain instance requiring the assertion of 
its universality. So men have achieved beyond their thought or hope. 
But the special instance vindicated, the general principle is suffered to 
sleep, or at least is not pursued to its consequences. It passes to the 
tomb of accepted but dead axioms. The zeal aroused for it in the 


hour of its first conflict passes away, and in the security of triumph it 
perishes of its very victory. Like the Spartan warrior, it is brought 
back upon its shield — a victor, but dead. 1 ' — From Address delivered 
in 1870, on The Occasion and the Situation. 

"That face [the face of Lincoln] thus transfigured to that of the 
Moral Sublime, to a virtue already on high, will be seen, by the idea of 
heroic goodness inhering, upborne higher and higher over the future, 
when the surge of our great tragedy shall have sunk behind the 
horizon, above its war scenery, its masses of force, its blazon of mighty 
names, latest of its heroic constellations — like Cassiopeia's throne in 
the circumpolar skies, in the circle of perpetual apparition ; rising and 
falling, it may be, with the earth's roll, but to set nevermore." — From 
Address on History as a Teacher of Social and Political Science. 

" God's golden purpose strikes through all the past, its lines of light 
shooting through all the maze and kindling into a divine scheme. 
The labors of our fathers and of our own shadowy lives are economized 
and eternized in a plan of God. In vision beyond Columbus 1 dream, 
beyond even the Pilgrims 1 prayer, I seem to see arising in this new world 
a power ministrant in chief among the nations, to the universal royalty 
of Christ ; and I seem to hear sounding along its march down its vast 
future, the exultation of the Hebrew seer over God's people of old : 
' There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the 
heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God 
is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. 1 ' 1 — From 
Sermon on Our Country as a Factor in the Kingdom of Christ. 

" A force is herewith imparted to, and inwrought with, eternal souls, 
and can never die — not in this world, not in the world to come. It 
strikes through the ages in Time's diorama and through cycles when 
time shall be but a remembered dream. It works on here beyond the 
date of our earthly being, and will continue to do so through ages when 
we have passed away. The hand that this day bestows this gift shall 
stretch forth across the graves of centuries, to touch with new life-pulse 
the youth that here seeks the sources of larger and deeper truth, as it 
shall hand down to him in alcoves here to arrive, the volume rich with 
the lore of the gone ages. 11 — From response on behalf of Chicago 
Theological Seminary on receipt of Hammond Library Bequest. 

" Whichever way I take my outlook I see over the shifting scenery of 
earth and time, over the change of human philosophies, theologies and 


institutions — standing ever one living Presence, swaying all yet aloof 
from all, like a celestial orb ever over the tides of ocean, though 
darkened with clouds and vexed with tempest — the Christ of God, 
Lord of the ascendant in all the future. Ages pass, monuments crum- 
ble, the memory of man grows faint with years ; history, with its great 
evidential facts, is receding further and further into the dim deeps of 
the past. But over all, above the Church and the world, one wondrous 
face comes out brighter and brighter as we move onward. That face is 
the face of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. ... 

"More and more grows the feeling that Christ is Christianity — 
its foundation, its substance, its columnar proof, its self-evidencing 
warrant — the sun that illumines, coordinates and sways all — the 
inspiration of its spirit, passion and purpose — the impersonation of its 
reason, pathos and persuasion. As the Scriptures term Him, He is the 
Life — the life of His people and the life of His religion — its perpetual 
vitalizer. It ever lives in the reflection of that face, rather as the 
reflection of that face. So living it cannot die. That face of divine 
sweetness, love and beauty — 'the brightness of the Father's glory 
and express image of His person' — once risen on the mind of the 
world can never set, it is forever above and beyond all storm or eclipse. 
It can never perish from the memory, nay, from the vision of men. It 
will be the eternal answer to all the sophisms of unbelief, the living 
confutation of infidelity, and the queller of doubts and fears and all the 
powers of darkness ; shining on above all disaster and change of men 
and nations, over the Universal Church in all its life, over all its walks 
in time and through the shadow that fringes eternity. He shall endure 
as long as the sun, and shall be, like the sun, his own argument, 
through all races and all the ages. 1 ' — -From Sermon on " Christian 
Union,' 1 ' 1 delivered in the First Congregational Church in St. Louis. 

..." Instead of the solid and regular advances of an argument 
where elimination, conviction, pathos, and purpose proceed in health- 
ful order and to practical result, he [the preacher of a certain class 
referred to] treats the public with a display of flashy and fitful pyro- 
technics that glitter without guidance and startle without striking, and 
thinks to storm the strongholds of lust and falsehood with an artillery 
of rockets. 11 — From an article on '■'■Relation of the Pulpit to the 
Press" published in The St. Louis Christian News of March, 1878. 

..." You are all the while printing yourselves on minds in an 
imprint that shall outlast material monuments, and endure when 


earthly libraries shall feed the final conflagration. Yea, an imprint on 
one soul unto life in Christ, shall last when God's chirograph in the 
starry heavens shall fade, and shall be read to your joy and honor 
♦when the books are opened. 11 ' — Idem. 

. . . "Oh! the glory, the beauty, the sweetness of faith that can 
rest upon God's own bosom, and feel that He loves, that He forgives ; 
that casts away those cold clamps which we term science and philos- 
ophy, and reasons from its sole imperishable instinct and accepts God's 
own declarations. Mysteries may encompass us, but let us have faith. 
Jt is our privilege to pray, and, as he has taught us, to call him 
'Father.' All ranks of holy beings pray, from the seraph before the 
burning throne, to the little child that lisps ' Our Father.' The great 
Redeemer of man prayed on the mountain, prayed in the Garden, 
prayed on the cross, and in the hour of ascension His last view over 
this world was with His hands outspread in prayer for blessing." — 
From Sermon on Prayer and Philosophy . 

" History places in her Valhalla no monoliths, lives entire and all of 
a piece, nor those completely and minutely depictured, but lives 
glimpsed at their loftiest, noblest, and best. This she must do in 
dealing with imperfect men, or she can have no Hall of Heroes. . . . 
To the heroic she will condone much. Over much she will drop 
the mantle of oblivion. On what is brightest and best she will fix her 
longest look ; and as the sapphire and chrysolite of the loftiest 
mountain-peaks kindling in the sunset are seen latest by the receding 
voyager over the ocean waves, while the unsightliness and disorder of 
their bases sink in shadow or fall below the horizon, so the heroic life 
will be looked at longest and latest when it climbs highest into heaven.*' 
— From article in The Andover Review on The Life of William Lloyd 

'• Age, so dreaded as cold, lone, drear, congealed, may be the peaks 
of some high volcanic mountain projecting themselves out of masses 
of evergreen only to reflect serener and purer light, and by their own 
interior ever-glowing fires lifted above cloud and fog into the loftier and 
grander converse with the upper infinite. So, congealed and lone and 
drear as age may seem, it may yet be serener, grander, and nearer 
heaven. It may feel more the airs that come from eternity. But these 
airs are perpetually vitalizing. They come from the fields of immortal 
youth." — From article published in The Chicago Advance, entitled 
"Old Age: God's Gift:' 


" The interval that divides the two seasons of light none can describe, 
not even one who has passed through it. A feeling that attaches to the 
twilight and moonlight — the dimness of the infinite — is in it; the 
sense of waning moons and setting stars and of the majesty of dark- 
ness alone in heaven. Then that majesty, as in new genetic fiat, utters 
again, ' Let there be light/ and creation's morning chimes are heard 
again in the heavens. All things in the new sunrise are lustrous with 
the dew of youth, and the freshness of a new being touches nature 
and soul. — From an article in the same paper, headed " Time and 
Experience Vitalizers, not Wasters." 

"It [old age] has moved along life's voyage to the zone of calms — 
those lone and silent depths where the time-storm is lulled, the pas- 
sion and strife of time grows feeble, and the great life-beat of eternity 
comes in, in vast, solemn, tidal pulses. Beyond the illusion and fever 
of earlier years, far out towards the verge of the real and everlasting, 
it stands as mediating between two worlds — as an electric agency, 
constituted by God to charge the mundane and shadowy with the 
power of an endless life." — From contribution to The Advance, on 
"Perpetual Youth." 

"Above all things, put on Charity. Charity is the eternal dew of 
youth. To love is to live ; to love rightly and truly is to live forever." 
— Idem. 

"Age shall become as the cape of Beulah, beyond the skies of 
storm, lying far out towards the shining shore, where the air is 
always mild and sweet, and the light ever soft and serene, and 
through the hallowed solitudes from beyond the death shade and 
the dark river, from the heights of immortality, ever and anon and 
nearer and nearer come rifts of the Psalm of Life — hymn of even- 
ing and morning — vesper of time and matin of eternity — the new 
song of the ever young." — Idem. 

. . . " History is no eddy, though embracing many such. It is a 
Mississippi, bearing all eddies, with refluent or affluent whirl, ever to 
the great ocean. It exhibits in itself, it is true, perpetual oscillatory 
movement ; but the oscillation is of the pendulum below, that is mov- 
ing the index hand above, on the horologue of the ages, ever nearer to 
the morning hour." — From Lecture on Palingenesy. 


" Social convulsions are a social apocalypse. Revolution is revela- 
tion. The upheaval and overturn reveal what smoother and more tran- 
quil times never disclose — elements and forces ever at work in the 
deeps, but commonly hidden and voiceless. As the geologist, in his re- 
searches into the dynamic laws and structure of the earth's mass, takes 
a position, not where the smooth champaign spreads out in level lawns 
and rich gardens, smiling with fruit and flowers, but in fields of ruin 
and the disaster of nature : where the earthquake has torn open the 
earth's bosom, and, gazing down the rent, he may read her interior 
constitution and forces and may trace the awful subterranean powers 
which build or destroy her structure, vitalize or waste her surface, 
which have left their finger prints on the rent marble or the molten 
granite on the dingy sides of the chasm, or are still stirring the eternal 
fires below ; so we may now take position beside the abyss that has 
opened in our American society and trace powers, laws and elements, 
heretofore but dimly disclosed under our smooth and beautiful pros- 
perity." — Idem. 

In the same lecture, referring to the fallen soldiers of the Union, Dr. 
Post said : — 

..." Nature guards the mystery of their repose ; the solemn winds 
breathe of it to forest and ocean ; the lone stars of night look down 
upon them, and morn and even drop their dewy tears. But from the 
knowledge of living men not only their living forms but their graves 
are hid forevermore. Their being fades into the vast and shadowy 
past ; their dust blends with the air and earth and flood and mingles 
with universal nature. Blessed peace shall come again to deck these 
climes with beauty ; but for our martyred heroes it will find no monu- 
ment, no tomb." 

In his lecture on "The Greatness and Power of Faith, as illus- 
trated by the Pilgrim Fathers," he said of the dying pilgrim at Ply- 
mouth : — 

" Alone, far away from the great world, looking out on ' the deep no 
plummet soundeth, 1 what chart shall guide him over that mysterious 
main? No mundane constellations light thee now, O pilgrim! No 
earthly sunsets lure thy wandering sail ! No mortal pilot serves thee 
here ! Time's Speedwells and Mayflowers fail thee. This is no earthly 
tempest ; this, no Atlantic surge." 

"Here womanhood, that faded under the low thatch and solemn 


pines through which the New Jerusalem glimpsed on her dying eye, 
was sleeping with her baby on her breast. Yonder they may have laid 
the wise Winslow or saintly Brewster. That may be the brave Stand- 
ish's last bivouac, and here the fair flower of the wilderness, his sweet 
Rose, may have hidden the bloom of her mortal beauty in the tomb." 
— I de?> 1. 

"Individual history grows to general truths; personality is trans- 
figured to principle and translated, like Astraga, to the stars. 17 — Idem. 

" Duty, and duty alone, is great, safe, mighty. Man is strong as he 
holds God's hand, lofty as he bows before him, wise as he listens only 
to his voice ; true liberty is his service; true order his law; true life 
his love.'' — Idem. 

"A mightier hand than Alexander's was drawing him through the 
curtain of time." — From passage of a sermon in which Dr. Post was 
depicting the last hours of Alexander the Great. 

" There rises before me another scene. The watchers are about the 
bedside. They are speaking in bated whispers or moving about with 
stealthy and muffled footfall. To one life the last hour is at hand — 
its moments almost numbered. The world, home, sweet friends and 
kindred, are disappearing ; Time itself is fading. There is now ' no 
more device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, 1 nor power to touch the 
springs of human action ; the good that might have been done must 
remain undone forever ; the word of comfort and hope and warning, 
that might have been spoken, must henceforth remain unspoken for- 

" Draw near the bedside, friend, and tell me whose pale form is that 
which lies before thee. What face is that upon which Death is already 
beginning to set his changeless seal? Nay, mortal, start not back! 
That face is thyself." — Recalled memoriter fro?n a sermon of Dr. 

..." I feel still the pulse of mighty rapids along which our country 
is being borne, with sounds in our ears, whether of the nearer cataract 
or of an ocean stream bearing on to the great sea. I feel awed as in 
the presence of the solemn mystery of a future of vast hope and vast 
fear. As we stand here to-day, not alone, but girt round with a glori- 
ous cloud of witnesses, the wise and good, the gifted, the beautiful, 


the brave and the saintly, that have wrought and suffered for the life of 
the land in other days, but now are fast drifting into the eternal past, 
I am borne under the shadow of that throne in whose timeless date 
stars and galaxies rise and set, and earthly systems and empires come 
and go like ephemerides in the setting sun. In that presence I pass 
from an atmosphere of uncharitable sentiment and severe condemna- 
tory judgment toward those from whom I may have differed in my 
mortal years to feelings of pity and sympathy toward those implicated 
with me in the weakness and frailty of this life, as I think how soon 
we shall lie down together in <the dust ; and I look for that which 
in this scheme of change binds eternity to time, and earthly empire 
to the eternal throne." — From Address at the Unveiling of the Blair 


Adams, John Quincy, 43. 

Adams, Dr. Samuel, 55, 109, 157, 166. 

Adirondacks, 31, 240, 371-3, 405. 

Alton, 95-96. 

Andover Theological Seminary, 42, 

218, 403. 
Arnold, Denham, 439. 
Autobiographic MSS., 44, 53-4, 56, 57, 

62, 63-4, 66-68, 73, 75, 76, 77, 82- 

83, 85, 89, 91-92, 96, 107, ill, 119- 


Bacon, Henry D., 164. 

Bacon, Rev. Leonard, 211, 215, 356. 

Baker, General, 353. 

Baldwin, Rev. Theron, 52, 55, tj. 

Barber, , 32. 

Bascom, Dorus, 14. 

Bascom, Franklin, 14. 

Bascom, Oliver, 14. 

Bascom, Samuel, 14. 

Bass, Dr. Wm., 33. 

Bateman, Hon. Newton, 69, 84, 340. 

Bates, Hon. Edward, 47, 192-3. 

Bates, Rev. H. H., 14. 

Bates, Pres. Joshua, 18, 33, 53. 

Bates, Mrs. Semantha, 14. 

Battell, Philip, 34, 122, 405. 

Baumgarten, Dr. G. A., 435. 

Baury, Mrs. Catharine, 35. 

Beaumont, Dr. Wm., 76. 

Beecher, Catharine, 45. 

Beecher, Dr. Edward, 52, 53, 55, 56, 

73. 90. 9 2 . 95- 
Beecher, Rev. Henry Ward, 215. 
Beecher, Dr. Lyman, 45, 215. 
Belcher, Charles, 439. 

Benton, Thomas H., 43. 
Biddeford Pool, 404. 
Blackburn, Church, 222. 
Blackburn, Rev. Gideon, 64, 77, 353. 
Blair, Gen. F. P., 193, 208, 420-5. 
Blair, Hon. Montgomery, 208. 
Blatchford, Rev. John, 77. 
Blatchford, E. W., 218. 
Brank, Rev. R. G., 439. 
Bridge, Hudson E., 204. 
Briggs, Dr. Chas. E., 439. 
Brown, Col. B. Gratz, 271. 
Bryant, Wm. Cullen, 146. 

Buddington, Rev. ,215. 

Bullard, Rev. Artemas, 124, 169, 222, 

Burrows, Rev. E. B., 439. 
Butler, Mann, 222. 

Camp Jackson, 270-3. 

Carter, Rev. Wm., 63-4, 110. 

Casey, Captain, 146. 

Castleton, 31, 32. 

Calhoun, John C, 43. 

Chamberlain, F. B., 282. 

Charless, Joseph, 240. 

Chase, Hon. Salmon P., 45, 208. 

Chicago, 50-60. 

Chicago Theological Seminary, 218, 

Chipman, Daniel, 19. 

Chittenden, Deacon , 59. 

Cholera year in Jacksonville, 56-57. 

Cholera in St. Louis, 166. 

Clay, Henry, 43. 

Civil War, 262-9, 273-4, 284. 

Coffin, Nathaniel, 55. 


5° 2 


Collier, J. P., 283. 

Colton, Erastus, 57. 

Congregational Church in Jackson- 
ville, 63-4, iio-ii, 114-16. 

Congregational Church, "First" in 
St. Louis, 203-6, 209, 229-30' 
260-2, 268, 270, 395, 399, 438. 

Congregational Church, " Pilgrim," 

3 2 5-7- 
Congregationalism, Struggle of, in 

Missouri, 201-4, 20 5. 200 - 
Cornwall, 3, 4-6, 32. 

Crane, Rev. ,75. 

Crow, Wayman, 282. 

Darby, John F., 169. 

Davis, S. C, 282. 

Dayton, Benjamin B., 222. 

Denison, George, 439. 

Denman, Matthias, 144. 

Douglas, Stephen A., 51, 353. 

Drake, Dr. Daniel, 67. 

Duncan, Gov. Joseph, 44, 50, 90-1, 

122-3, 353. 
Dwight, Rev. Timothy, 215. 

Edgell, George S., 489. 
Edwards, James G., 50-1. 
Edwards, Mrs. James G., 61. 
Eliot, Rev. Wm. G., 169, 282. 
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 208. 

Fagg, Hon. T. J. C, 439. 

Field, Rev. Henry M., 151, 161. 

Field, R. M., 192. 

Fisk, Prof. Franklin, 218. 

Fitch, Mrs. Margaret Henshaw, 35. 

Fletcher, Gov. Thomas C, 302, 309. 

Foote, Hon. Solomon, 20. 

Forbes, Moses, 150-2, 164. 

Forbes, Moses S., 439. 

Fuller, Mrs. Jane, 7, 13, 31, 436. 

Gamble, Hon. Hamilton R., 47, 19? 
Garrison, William Lloyd, 428. 
Gasconade Disaster, 222-28. 
Gassaway, Rev. Dr., 209-10. 

Geyer, Hon. H. S., 192-3, 209. 
Giddings, Rev. Salmon, 46. 
Gilman, Winthrop,78, 95. 
Glover, Hon. S. T., 193, 425-428. 
Godfrey, Captain, 78, 95, 353. 
Gray, M. L., 439. 
Greeley, Carlos, 204, 82. 

Grimke, , 66. 

Griswold, Wm. D., 439. 
Guiteau, Sheridan, 17. 

Hagar, Jonathan, 33. 

Hand, Capt. Augustus, 7, 13, 14. 

Hand, Dr. A. F., 7, 11-13, 25-6, 31, 

68, 82, 84, 435. 
Hand, Oliver, 7, 31. 
Hand, Madame Sarah, 13, 14, 109. 
Hammond, Col. C. G., 218, 400. 
Hardin, Gen. John, 51, 353. 
Harrison, General, 45. 
Hatfield, Rev. E. F., 17, 46, 47. 
Henshaw, Charles, 35. 
Henshaw, Daniel, 34-5. 
Henshaw, J. P. K. (Bishop), 35. 
Henshaw, Madame Sarah, 34, 35, 

75. 85. 
Henshaw home in Middlebury, 34-5. 
Hitchcock, Henry, 282. 
Home in Jacksonville, 78-80, 84, 85,. 

89. 155. I 5°. I57-I 60 . !62, 163. 
Home in St. Louis, 207-8. 
Hough, Prof. John, 18, 20. 
Holmes, Charles, 439. 
Howard, Thomas, 439. 
Howe, Zimri, 31. 
Hulburd, Calvin, 17, 20, 385, 387-88. 

Humphreys, Dr., 74. 
Hutchinson, Rev. E. C, 169. 

Illinois College, 49, 52-3, 55-6, 65-6, 

77, 92, 149, 219, 220-222. 
Intelligencer, The St. Louis, 194, 195- 

Jackson, Andrew, 43. 

Jacksonville, 49-52, 53, 90, 155-7, 403.. 



Jeter, Rev. Dr., 169. 
Johnson, Rev. Edwin, 209. 
Johnson, Dr. J. B., 435, 436, 439. 

Kellogg, S. B., 282-3. 

King, Wyllys, 270. 

Kirby, Mrs. Julia Duncan, 122. 

Kirkwood, Mrs. Sarah, 75. 

Knox, Dr. Reuben, 124, 151, 152, 153, 

16 1, 164. 
Knox, Milton, 151. 
Krum, Hon. John M., 204. 

La Clede Saloon disaster, 166-168, 

Larrabee's Point, 7-8, 9-13. 
Laurie, Rev. Thomas, 87-8. 
Lawrence, Hon. R. F., 28. 
Leonard, 192, 193. 
" Life Story," 39-40, 41-2, 42-3, 44, 

45-46, 46-47, 47-49, 153-154, 156- 

157. I59-i6o. 385- 
Lincoln, Abraham, Assassination of, 

301-304, 304-306, 306-309. 

Lippincott, , 353. 

Lockwood, Hon. Samuel D., 51-2, 78, 

Lockwood, Mrs. Samuel D., 64, 91. 
Logansport, 3, 67-8, 107-9, 4 01 - 
Lovejoy, Rev. E. P., 59, 95, 96, 353. 
Lovejoy, Owen, 353. 

Merrill, Rev. Thomas A., 18, 150. 
Middlebury, 2, 3, 4, 8, 16, 19, 20, 21, 

33-4. 74-5. 4°5- 
Middlebury College, 3, 16-20, 26-30, 

32. 33. S3. 150. 385-6. 
Miller, Mrs. Rebecca, 37. 
Mitchell, A. S., 197. 
Missouri Blind Asylum, 218. 
Montesquieus, Trial of, 193-4. 
Monticello Seminary, 217. 
Muench, Hon. Frederick, 309. 
Macrocosm, The, 69-72. 

McDuffie, , 43. 

McCune, John S., 152, 209, 270. 
McClure, H. B., 28, 74, 84. 

McClure, Mrs. Harriet Henshaw, 35, 

74-75. 84, 162. 
McGuffey, Professor, 67. 
Mansfield, Edwin, 67. 
Marshall, Chief Justice, 43. 
Mead, Mrs. C. M., 402, 417, 433. 
Mead, Martha, 2. 
Mears, Rev. Mr., 206. 
Merrill, Rev. J. G., 440. 

Nelson, Rev. H. A., 303. 
Niccolls, Rev. S. J., 304, 444-451. 

O'Sullivan, Thomas, 222. 
Ogden, W. B., 146. 
Orwell, 2, 14, 2i, 36. 

Park, Rev. Edwards, 211, 215. 

Partridge, George, 282. 

Peabody, Rev. Charles, 260. 

Peck, Judge, 73. 

Perry, Mrs. Samuel, 76. 

Phelps, Hon. S. S., 19. 

Plant, Samuel, 270. 

Piatt, Mrs. Eliza Henshaw, 35. 

Pomeroy, A. D., 222. 

Post, Aurelian H., 3, 11, 42, 66, 67-8, 

Post, Catharine H., 156. 

Post, Mrs. Frances Henshaw. In Mrs. 
Willard's school and at Green 
Bay, 35-6 ; Marriage of, 74-5 ; 
Wedding journey, 75-7; First 
winter in Jacksonville, 77 ; Strange 
adventure, 80, 82-3; Welcome 
visitors in the new home, 84 ; 
Daniel Webster's courtesy, 90; 
Trip east in 1843, 121 ; Scarlet 
fever in Jacksonville, 148 ; Letter 
describing La Clede Saloon dis- 
aster, 168 ; The St. Louis home, 
207-8; The Gasconade disaster, 
letter relating to, 223 ; Articles 
on Immortality, 231; Surprise 
party, 232 ; Ladies' Loyal League 
and Union Aid Society, 269-70; 
Operation for cataract upon eyes 



Post, Mrs. Frances Henshaw — concl'd. 

of Dr. Post, letters from Boston 
hospital concerning, 314-15 ; 
Death in 1873, 375 - 6; Letters of 
Dr. Post to Daniel Roberts, 


Post, Henry McClure, 156. 

Post, Martin, 2-4, 16, 19. 

Post, Martin Hayward, 156, 435. 

Post, Martin Mercillian, 3, 10, 11, 12, 
13, 20,34,42, 66. 

Post, Rev. Reuben, 42. 

Post, Roswell, 1, 4, 5. 

Post, Mrs. Sarah H., 2. 

Post, Stephen, i, 2. 

Post, Truman Augustus, 156. 

Post, Truman, 3-4. 

Post, Truman Marcellus. His birth, 
3-4; Early home life, 7-13; Youth 
in Orwell, 14-15 ; Preparation for 
College, 16 ; Matriculation, 16-17 '< 
College days, 17-20 ; School 
teaching, 22 ; Letter to his mother, 
23 ; Letter to Daniel Roberts, 
23-25 ; School teaching under 
difficulties, 25-6: College days, 
cont'd, 26-27; Character sketch, 
by Roberts, 27-8 ; Graduation, 
28-30; At Castleton, 31-32; Let- 
ter to Roberts, 32; At Castleton, 
cont'd, 32-33; Trip to New York, 
33 ; Tutorship in Middlebury, 
33-34 ; Bible class, 34 ; Visit to 
Norfolk, Conn., and Homer, N. 
V., 34; Visit to Orwell, 36; Ill- 
ness in 1831, 37-40; Letter to 
Roberts, 38-9; Studies at An- 
dover, 41-2; Winter of 1832-3 
in Washington, 42-4; Journey 
west in spring of 1833 through 
St. Louis to Jacksonville, 111., 
44-9 ; Arrival at Jacksonville, 49 ; 
Night at house of Governor Dun- 
can, 50; Sojourn with family of 
Judge Lockwood, 50-1 ; Meeting 
with Stephen A. Douglas and 
General and Mrs. Hardin, 51; 

Post, Truman Marcellus — cont'd. 

License to practice law, 52; Ap- 
pointment as Professor of Illinois 
College, 52-4 ; Bachelor's quar- 
ters in College, 56; Experiences 
in " cholera year," 56-7 ; Trip to 
Chicago in 1833, 57-60; Danger- 
ous illness and religious experi- 
ences in Jacksonville in the same 
year, 61-2; Public profession of 
religion and how it came about, 
64; Letter to his mother, 65-6; 
Address at Teachers' Convention 
in Cincinnati, 66-7; Visit to 
Logansport, 67-8 ; Blind days 
and poetry, 68-72; Trip east in 
1835, and marriage, 73-5 ; Wed- 
ding Journey to Jacksonville. — 
Letter to Roberts, 75-7 ; Winter 
of 1835-6 in Illinois College, 77; 
" Lockwood Place, "78-9; Strange 
night's adventure,8o-3 ; Boar hunt, 
85-9; Evening with Daniel Web- 
ster, 90-1 ; Fourth of July ora- 
tion in 1837, 92-4; Address to 
people of Alton, 96-106; Visit to 
Logansport ; letter to Mrs. Post, 
107-9; Trip through Northern 
Illinois in 1840. — " Starved Rock," 
109-10 ; Pastorate over Congre- 
gational Church in Jacksonville, 
how it came about, 110-116; 
Views on systematic theologies, 
ecclesiastical order, terms of 
church communion, and extem- 
pore preaching, 116-121 ; Visit to 
Middlebury in 1843, and preach- 
ing in the Congregational Church, 
121-122; Ascent of Mount Lin- 
coln, 122 ; Account of death of 
Governor Duncan, 123; Trip to 
St. Louis and Lebanon, 111., in 
1844, 124-5 I Address on Heroism 
of the Democratic Ages, 125- 
133 ; Article in Biblical Repository 
on Immortality of the Soul, 133- 
6; Account of trip to Burlington, 



Post, Truman Marcellus — cont'd. 

Iowa, 137-144; Letter to Mrs. 
Post, in 1846, 144-5; Account 
from MSS. of strange incidents 
and serious sickness in Mackinac 
Island, 145-47; Illness at home, 
147-8 ; Call to Middlebury, 149- 
50; Call to Third Presbyterian 
Church in St. Louis, 150-54; 
Jacksonville life in retrospect, 
155-160; First years in St. 
Louis, 163-4 ; Letters from Jack- 
sonville and St. Louis, 162-3; 
Discourse on the Pilgrim Fathers, 
164-6; Summer of 1849 in St. 
Louis, 166; La Clede Saloon dis- 
aster, 166-8; Address at Dedica- 
tion of Bellefontaine Cemetery, 
168-182; Address on Genius, 183- 
192; Early friends in Sti Louis, 
192-193 ; Article on Moral Ob- 
ligations of the Legal Profession, 
192-94; Literary notices, 194, 
195, 196 ; Voices of History, 194- 
5, 196; Farewell to 1850, 197- 
200; Address on Congregation- 
alism, 204-5 ! Organization of 
First Congregational Church, 
205-6; Home in St. Louis, 207- 
208 ; Trip to Fort Snelling, 209 ; 
Church Revival, 209; Remarks 
on death of Dr. Gassaway, 210 ; 
Address on Mission of Congrega- 
tionalism in the West, 211-16; 
Response to toasts in Brooklyn 
and Boston, 215-16; Connection 
with Educational Institutions, 
Monticello, Chicago Theological 
Seminary, Missouri Blind Asy- 
lum, Washington University, An- 
dover, 217-219 ; Addresses at 
Illinois College, 219-222; Title 
of D.D., 222; Letter describing 
Gasconade disaster, 223-228 ; 
Discourse commemorative of 
Dr. Bullard, 228; Call to South 
Brooklyn, 229-230; Articles on 

Post, Truman Marcellus — cont'd. 

Immortality, 231-32; Skeptical 
Era, 232; Address at Iowa Col- 
lege on Religion and Education 
233-39 ; Letter to sons at Yale, 
239-40; Tramp in the Adiron- 
dacks, 240; Death of Joseph 
Charless, 240; Address at Nor- 
wich, Conn., on Congregational- 
ism in the West, 240 ; Christmas 
Discourse in 1859 on The Great- 
ness and Power of Faith as Illus- 
trated by the Pilgrim Fathers, 
241-249 ; and on Vitality of Chris- 
tianity, 249-259 ; Building and 
dedication of church on Tenth 
and Locust streets, 260-1; Serv- 
ices to the country in the crisis 
before the civil war, 262-270; 
Thanksgiving sermon in fall of 
i860, 269; Sermon on Fast day 
in November, 1861, 273-280 ; War 
Papers — on Guerrilla War, 281- 
2 ; on Price's Proclamation. — 
"What ails us? " 282 ; Address on 
Palingenesy, 282-301 ; Addresses 
in the First and Second Presby- 
terian Churches after assassina- 
tion of President Lincoln, 301- 
306; Sermon at First Congrega- 
tional Church on Duty of Inter- 
cessory Prayer, 306-309; Paper 
in North American Review on 
Free Missouri, 309-12; Opera- 
tion in Boston for removal of 
cataract, 313-15 ; Articles on Old 
Age, 315-24 ; Address at services 
in recognition of Pilgrim Chapel, 
325-29 ; Sundry publications after 
close of the war relating to na- 
tional politics, 329-339; Address 
at Springfield on History as a 
Teacher of Social and Political 
Science, 340-55; Address on 
250th Anniversary of Landing of 
the Pilgrims ; on the Occasion and 
Situation, 356-70; Sermons on 



Post, Truman Marcellus — cont'd. 

The Church Fathers and discourse 
before the American Board on 
The Ministrant Church, 371-73; 
Trips in 1873 to Colorado and 
Europe, 373-75 ; Letters to Daniel 
Roberts after death of Mrs. Post, 
377-9; Letter from Ferrisburg 
two years afterwards, 378-9 ; Ser- 
mon in Broadway Tabernacle on 
Our Country as a Factor in the 
Kingdom of Christ, 380-84 ; Mon- 
ograph on the Second Advent, 
384-5 ; Congregationalism, "A Life 
Story," 385; Letter to Calvin Hul- 
burd, 385; Class semi-centennial 
address in Middlebury, 385-87 ; 
another letter to Hulburd, 387-9; 
Address in Chicago at Banquet 
of Sons of Vermont, 389-90; 
Sermon in St. Louis before Ameri- 
can Board on The Outlook of 
the Times ; the Trend of the 
World, 390-94 ; Resignation of 
the pastorate in St. Louis, 395- 
99; Visits and summer sojourns 
of Dr. Post, 399-400, 402-403, 
404-405 ; Response on receipt of 
Hammond Library bequest to 
Chicago Theological Seminary, 
400-1 ; Letters on various topics, 
399-405 ; Sermon at semi-centen- 
nial of Congregational Church in 
Jacksonville, 407-414; Article in 
Andover Review on Transition 
Periods in Religious Thought, 
414-417; Letters to Mrs. Mead 
and to Calvin Hulburd, after 
death of Mrs. Young, 417-19; 
Address at unveiling of Blair 
monument, 420-5 ; Funeral serv- 
ices after death of Samuel T. 
Glover, 425-8 ; Article on William 
Lloyd Garrison, 428; Article on 
Things Which Cannot Be Shak- 
en, 428-432; Visit to Des Moines 
at meeting of American Board in 

Post, Truman Marcellus — concl'd. 

1886, 434; Last illness and death, 
434-7 ; Funeral services and ad- 
dresses, 438-451 ; Tributes to the 
memory of Dr. Post, from the 
press, and from the U. S. Court 
and various public institutions 
and societies, 452-461 ; Marked 
traits of Dr. Post, 462-479. 
Potts, Rev. Wm., 46. 

Republican, The St. Louis ; obituary 

editorial in, 452-3. 
Richards, Mrs. Sarah Henshaw, 35, 

Richardson, James, 282. 
Rives, Senator, 43-44. 
Roberts, Daniel, 16, 17, 23, 27-8, 32, 

38, 76, 121-2, 377-8. 
Robertson, Mrs. Julia Henshaw, 35. 

St. Anthony, Falls of, Trip to, 208. 

St. Louis, 45, 149-50, 153, 192-94, 
105, 202-204, 206-207, 262-266, 
268-269, 3 02- 3°4. 388, 420, 426. 

Salter, Rev. Mr., 137, 138. 

Sanford, Mrs. Emily, 14. 

Scarritt, Russell, 270. 

Seymour, Horatio, 2, 19. 

Seymour, Mrs. , 74-75. 

Skilman, W. D., 164, 194. 

Slade, Hon. Wm., 19. 

Smith, Mrs. Hannah Bates, 29, 33. 

Smith, Miss Joanna, 146-147. 

Smith, Dr. Henry, 45. 

Storrs, Seth, 19. 

Stowe, Mrs. Harriet Beecher, 45. 

Stowe, Prof. , 215. 

Stryker, Mrs. Henry, 435. 

Studley, Robert P., 439. 

Sturtevant, Rev. J. M., 53, 55, 56, 77, 
206, 261, 406. 

Surprise party, 232-3. 

Swift, Judge , 19. 

Taney, Judge, 43. 
Tappan, 215. 



Teasdale, Rev. Mr., 222. 
Tilden, Lucius, 16. 

Tillson, ,353. 

Treat, Hon. Samuel, 150, 204, 439, 

Turner, Rev. Asa, 53. 
Turner, Prof. J. B., 55, 56, 78. 

Van Nostrand, Mrs. F. H., 156. 

Walbridge, L. L., 439. 
Walworth, Mrs. Chancellor, 51. 
Walworth, Mrs. Nellie H., 51. 
Washington University, 218. 
Waterhouse, Prof. S., 283. 

Webster, Ezekiel, 74. 

Webster, Daniel, 43, 90-91. 

Willard, Madame, 75. 

Whitney, Mrs. Emeline Henshaw, 36. 

Whittaker, Francis, 270. 

Wilbur, Mrs. Marcus, 73. 

Williams, Mrs. Charles, 147. 

Wirt, Wm., 43. 

Wolcott, Mrs. Martha Dwight, ill. 

Wolcott, , 353. 

Yates, Gov. Richard, 56, 219, 353~4- 

Yeatman, Jas. E., 282, 439. 

Young, Mrs. Clara H., 156, 417-419. 


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